SALT LAKE CITY – Memorial Day weekend is often filled with barbecues, camping and other summer activities, but it's also a dangerous time to be on the road.
The Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Transportation are calling the span between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 Deadliest Days." UHP officials said there are more people on the road during that time, which means the chances of fatal accidents increase.
According to a press release from the Utah Department of Transportation, the most recent numbers show 53 fatalities have occurred in Utah to date. There are an average of 96 fatalities each year during Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days.”
“Fatalities traditionally increase by at least 35 percent during the days between Memorial and Labor Days,” said Robert Hull, UDOT Director of Traffic and Safety. “As we go into the deadliest time of year on Utah’s roadways it is critical that motorists follow traffic laws, always wear their seat belts, and don’t drive drowsy, distracted, aggressively or impaired. If we all do our part, a majority of these fatalities can be prevented.”
According to the press release, over the last five years the number of fatalities on given holidays average out to:
- Memorial Day: 13 fatalities
- Independence Day: 20 fatalities
- Pioneer Day: 10 fatalities
- Labor Day: 13 fatalities
Sgt. Chad Hecker, Utah Highway Patrol, said people should follow the basics of driving safety.
"Just make sure your vehicle is safe, tires have plenty of tread on them, they are inflated properly, wear your seatbelt, and follow the rules of the road and drive at a safe, reasonable speed,” he said.
There have already been several serious accidents this Memorial Day weekend: