Stats show increase in car crashes since new cell phone law took effect

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's new cell phone law tightens restrictions for drivers. But since the law has gone into effect the total numbers of crashes are up.

Last year during the month of May there were 1,164 accidents, according to statistics from Utah Highway Patrol.

This year during the same time that number rose by 33.

Out of those accidents in 2013, 10 were related cell phone use. This year that number is also up hitting a total of 15 accidents where the driver was distracted by a cell phone.

But Utah Highway Patrol says the real number may be higher.

"A lot of people when people are involved in a rear end crash in the Salt Lake valley somewhere and we ask them, ‘were you on your cell phone?’ They’re going to flat out say no,” said Sgt. Todd Royce with UHP.

Troopers say they're noticing a lot of people are still not clear on what the law entails but soon they will start giving out fewer warnings and more citations.

4 comments

  • Cartman

    Highly unlikely there is enough data to establish a trend one way or another, but it seems obvious to me that the reason isn’t that people stopped using their phones, but that they take their eyes off the road while trying to avoid getting caught using their phones.

  • Jessica

    I’m a truck driver. My comment on texting and driving is , why don’t they boost the fines on traffic related events as high as they are for truck drivers? We would see a dramatic change if there ticket for having a phone in there hands being a $1,000 + fine.

  • Common sense

    I watch traffic all day long….Most people are playing with their phone in one way or another…hands free should be the only option!!!

    • trevor

      How about just turning off the phone or letting it ring until you can pull over? That’s what I do.

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