‘100 Deadliest Days’ ends Labor Day, officials say fatalities increased on Utah roads in 2014

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SALT LAKE CITY – Labor Day weekend will mark the close of what officials in Utah call the 100 Deadliest Days on Utah roads, and officials said so far nearly one person has died for every day during that period.

Utah Department of Transportation officials said that since Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of the 100 Deadliest Days, 93 people have died in accidents on Utah roads.

Officials said 165 people have been killed on Utah roadways so far in 2014, which is an increase of 18 compared to the same period of time in 2013.

“We’re not talking about just the numbers here,” UDOT Spokesman John Gleason said. “These are real human stories, families that have lost loved ones, and they are going through unspeakable grief right now, so this is very personal to all of us.”

Officials with UDOT said that in 2013, nearly half of the people who were killed in accidents were not buckled up. So far this year, 42 people who were not wearing seat belts have died in accidents.

According to data from the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administration, when it comes to crashes those who aren’t properly buckled are 40 times more likely to die than someone who is properly buckled.

Sgt. Todd Royce of the Utah Highway Patrol said they hope people will exercise caution and will buckle up, especially during the holiday weekend.

“We'd like people to get to from where they’re going to where they’re going safely,” he said.

UHP officials said they will be adding an extra 266 shifts starting Friday to increase enforcement during Labor Day weekend.

Royce said: “Our hope this Labor Day weekend, the last hurrah of the summer, that everybody thinks about their driving. That everybody does it carefully and cautiously, gets enough sleep. Make sure you’re not impaired when driving. Slow down. Buckle up, and make sure you’re driving safely.”

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