UDOT and DPS release 2022 traffic fatality numbers
January 5, 2023
Agencies urge Utahns to resolve to drive safer this year
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) released preliminary traffic fatality data for the 2022 calendar year earlier today. Preliminary reports show there were 320 lives lost on Utah roads from Jan. 1, 2022 through Dec. 31, 2022. That is twelve fewer lives lost than in 2021 (332 fatalities).
“One startling takeaway from this last year is how many of our most vulnerable road users’ lives were lost,” says John Gleason, UDOT Public Relations Director. “Everyone shares the road, whether they’re driving, walking, or riding a bike or motorcycle, and all road users have an equal responsibility to watch out for one another.”
In 2022, there were 53 pedestrian fatalities, 15 bicyclist fatalities, and 50 motorcyclist fatalities, each more than in 2021. These are the most vulnerable road users, with less protection than people traveling in cars and trucks.
There has also been a rise in risky behaviors such as aggressive driving. These risky behaviors frequently result in fatal crashes.
“As the new year begins, we encourage everyone to resolve to drive safer,” says Sgt. Cameron Roden, UHP Public Information Officer. “Resolutions focus on making small changes over a long period of time to form habits and improve quality of life. Those habits are formed by starting with the fundamentals. So just like you would with other resolutions, we want to go back to the basics.”
Some “Back to Basics” tips for all road users include:
- Buckle up. No matter the distance, weather, vehicle, or time of day. Resolve always to wear a seat belt and wear it properly.
- Watch your speed and abide by the speed limit when road conditions are good. When the roads get wet, snow, or icy, adjust your speed to a safe speed that will help you to maintain control.
- Use your blinker every time you make a turn or change lanes.
- Review the rules of the road, like zipper merges and proper railroad crossing. The signal to cross a railroad safely is when the lights stop flashing, not the raised barriers.
- Commit to giving semi-trucks space: two headlights in the rearview mirror or stay clear.
- Parents – teach kids safe pedestrian habits, like wearing reflective gear and choosing a safe route to school.
- Drivers – make a special effort to completely stop and look at intersections. Twelve children (ages 0-9) were killed on Utah roads last year.
UDOT and DPS are regularly learning and implementing strategies aimed at increasing safety on our roads for all users. Visit zerofatalities.com to access resources to educate, review and teach safe road habits.