Traffic Fatalities Up in 2012

(KCPW News) As Utahns hit the road for the Memorial Day weekend, the Utah Department of Transportation is alarmed about the number of traffic fatalities. 75 people have died on Utah roads this year, up from 72 at the end of May 2011. UDOT Director of Traffic and Safety Robert Hull says while the types of accidents have been across the board, there’s one recurring theme.

“We have a number of single vehicle rollover crashes that people were not wearing their seatbelt s and unfortunately were ejected and died in those crashes. The seatbelt is probably the most common issue that we see,” he says.

Hull says drowsy driving is also a concern this weekend, urging drivers to get enough rest before hitting the road.

UDOT also notes there are several construction hotspots drivers will encounter in seven different counties, leading to reduced speed limits, narrower lanes and lane shifts.

“With the work zones, it’s even doubly critical for drivers to be alert and be aware and not be distracted,” he says.

In 2011, eight Utahns died in work-zone related crashes. There have been two so far in 2012. UDOT advises drivers to travel before 3 p.m. Friday and after 7 p.m. Monday to avoid heavy delays.