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Utah's '100 Deadliest Days' Were Even Deadlier This Year

Traffic on Utah highway. / wsfurlan

The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the "100 Deadliest Days" on Utah roads because they typically result in the most highway fatalities and this year has been worse than last.

Last year there were 79 fatalities on Utah roads from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This year, that number is up to 98.

Sergeant Nick Street is the public information officer for Utah Highway Patrol. He said there's a consistent factor in most of these fatal crashes.

"A lot of deaths that we've had could have been avoided had people been wearing seatbelts," Street said.

Street said another easily avoidable cause is drinking and driving, especially with cheap and easy ride-hailing apps that most everyone has access to.

Looking beyond the danger of the summer roads, Street says there's something else he wishes Utah drivers would do.

"If you're in a minor crash and your car is still driveable and you're unhurt, please help us by moving your vehicles out of traffic before first responders get there," Street said.

Street said there's a misconception that a crash site needs to be preserved for law enforcement to survey the scene. According to Street, all that does it put the drivers and the responding officers in greater danger.


Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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