Utah Car Accident Statistics

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Utah car accident statistics

Utah is known for its snow and scenery. Unfortunately, it has a more dubious honor too. Utah car accident statistics reveal that this state is the fifth most accident-prone in the country. In 2021, Utah saw 61,406 car crashes. Below you will find an overview of the numbers and causes of car accidents on Utah’s roadways. The experienced Utah car accident lawyers at Parker & McConkie Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover fair compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

An Overview of Car Accidents in Utah

An overview of car accidents

The Utah Department of Public Safety tracks fatal car accident data. Its goal is to make roadways safer and educate the public on responsible driving. The department divides preventable causes into 5 areas of harmful behavior: aggressive driving, drug and alcohol impairment, failing to wear a seat belt, and distracted driving. Its education efforts focus on these areas.

Other hazards include bad weather and road conditions. But many of these link back to driver error–which is the basis of 94% of car accidents nationally.

Utah Car Accidents in Numbers

Here are general statistics, crash rates, and trends in Utah car accidents:

By Car Accident Fatalities: Injury vs. Fatal Car Accidents

Of the 61,406 accidents in 2021, there were:

  • 18,224 injury accidents; and
  • 293 fatal car crashes.

Injury accidents are, as the name describes, accidents where someone is injured. If someone reports an injury, the severity doesn’t matter. An injury accident includes mild cases of whiplash and severe head or spinal injuries.

Car accident fatalities are when someone dies as a result of an accident. Unfortunately, these accidents increase yearly. The fatality rate increased by 11% between 2019 and 2020. In 2020, there were 276 deaths, compared to 293 fatal crashes in 2021.

By Age Group

Individuals aged 21 to 25 are the most likely to die in a car crash. The number of people dying in this group is 1.2 more than 16- to 20-year-olds and 1.3 more than 31- to 35-year-olds.

Young children were the least likely to die in car accidents. The two groups with the lowest death rate were passengers aged 1-5 and those aged 6-10.

By Gender

In 2020, men were 2.5 times more likely to die in car crashes.

Trends also highlight men are taking reckless risks. In 2018, drivers in drug or alcohol-related crashes were twice as many men than women. Men were also 1.9 times more likely to cause drowsy driving accidents or drug-related crashes.

By Time of the Day

If you think night is the most dangerous time for driving, think again. Statistics show Saturday and Friday are the most accident-prone days. Most accidents happen during the afternoon or early evening, also known as rush hour.

By Year

The accident rate increased most years after 2011. That year reported 46,392 accidents. From there, the accident numbers were as follows:

  • 2012: 49,254
  • 2013: 55,464
  • 2014: 52,089
  • 2015: 57,526
  • 2016: 62,363
  • 2017: 62,855
  • 2018: 62,073
  • 2019: 64,594
  • 2020: 51,629 (decrease likely due to COVID lockdowns)
  • 2021:61,406

Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Utah

Most common causes of car accidents

Utah faces the same traffic dangers as most of the nation. However, these 4 causes are the most common in this state:

Impaired Driving

Drivers impaired by alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription medicine are dangerous. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 reduces driving abilities, including multitasking (e.g., paying attention to road conditions and traffic lights simultaneously). Impaired drivers also can’t track moving objects, stay in the proper lane, or obey road signals well.

Utah lowered its legal BAC to 0.05 in 2018. That reduced impaired driving crashes by 20% between 2016 and 2019. Utah already had less impaired driving than the national average, but this new effort lowered it further.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving

No single state is spared from distracted driving. The new devices, a 24/7 “on” culture, and delusions about multitasking feed the problem. In 2018, 2,841 people died, and 400,000 suffered injuries from a distracted driver. The situation continues to grow. In 2020, 3,142 people died in crashes due to distracted driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends people keep their cell phones or other devices out of reach while driving. If you’re a passenger, offer to make telephone calls or adjust navigation when a driver starts fiddling with their phone. That will help everyone be safer!

Exceeding Speed Limits

According to Utah car accident statistics, speeding is the leading cause of collisions. It was a factor in 38% of fatal crashes, and accidents involving excessive speed were 2.7 times more likely to be deadly.

Speeding poses the following dangers:

  • Enhances driver errors. Since speeding shortens reaction time, drivers have a smaller window to correct mistakes. That makes them more likely to crash their speeding cars.
  • Extends stopping distances. Many drivers need to remember that fast cars need more time to stop. So when traffic grinds to a halt or a child runs into the roadway, there is less time to stop–especially if they are tailgating other vehicles.
  • Makes turning more dangerous. Speeding on curvy roads is extra hazardous. Every move a car makes at speed is more significant and quicker. So, overcorrection makes it more likely that a driver will miss a curve and crash.
  • Reduces safety device effectiveness. Airbags and seat belts are less likely to be effective in high-speed crashes. They may cause further injuries, and high-impact crashes leave airbag burns and seat belt bruises. Some people sustain broken bones from their safety devices.
  • Increases crash severity. For every 10mph over mph, the fatality rate in crashes doubles.

To avoid accidents, slow down and ensure safety on Utah roads! You will prevent danger better and keep passengers and pedestrians safer.

Seatbelt Defects

Seatbelt defects

Seatbelts are essential and the easiest way to avoid crash injuries. Passengers and drivers who don’t wear them are 14 times more likely to die of their injuries.

But seatbelts can be defective. The NHTSA reported 3 million injuries and 40,000 deaths due to faulty seatbelts.

Most fatalities related to seatbelt failures may occur due to the following:

  • Retractor failure. The retractor is where the belt feeds, and it’s supposed to lock up when a car suddenly stops. If it fails, the passenger doesn’t benefit from the lock and may hit the dashboards, seats, steering wheels, or airbags too hard.
  • Latch failures. The latch is the contact between the belt and the buckle. It can fail and come undone, causing passengers to hit face-first into the seat in front of them, the dashboard, the steering wheel, or the airbag.
  • Spooling. If you have an older car, you likely experience spooling sometimes. That’s when the gears inside the retractor feed loosen up, and too much seatbelt comes out. It’s a pain while putting on your seatbelt but often fatal in an accident.

If you believe you experienced a seatbelt failure, you may have a product liability claim against your car’s manufacturer. These matters require car accident attorney assistance.

Protect Yourself From Fatal Accidents by Speaking With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer

Experienced car accident attorney

After hearing these Utah car accident statistics, you may tend to lock up in your home or never drive again. But hazards are unfortunate, and you shouldn’t put your life on hold for them.

But if you sustain injuries in a car accident, you don’t have to suffer without help. Let us manage the accident details while you focus on recovering from injuries. The dedicated attorneys at Parker & McConkie can guide you through each step and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation. Please call us at (801) 845-0440 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

Call 801-845-0440 to get in touch with a member of our firm after your accident. We can review your case for free!

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