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No Seatbelt, Number One Cause of Utah Traffic Deaths

January 28
16:24 2014

carcrash_smallNearly half of the traffic deaths involving cars and trucks in Utah last year were the result of people not wearing their seatbelts, making it the number one cause of deaths in traffic accidents according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

John Gleason with U-D-O-T says the agency’s annual report on traffic fatalities once again shows how many lives seatbelts save – and likely could have saved. Gleason says people who don’t wear seatbelts are 40 times more likely to die in a car crash than those who are buckled. UDOT’s report shows there were 219 traffic fatalities in Utah in 2013, reflecting an increase of two deaths from the year previous.

“Take away the pedestrian, bicyclist and motorcycle fatalities, 46.7 percent of those killed were not wearing their seatbelts or improperly buckled.”

– John Gleason, UDOT

The numbers may sound high, but Gleason says 217 traffic deaths in 2012 was actually a 50-year low for the grim statistic. He says there are fewer deaths on the roadways in part because the state is being assertive with its public outreach and education, targeting young drivers in high school making sure that they have awareness and that they have the information necessary to make the best decision while out on the road.

Gleason adds another reason deaths could be declining is because the state has made it a priority to improve roadways where fatal traffic crashes have been the most common.

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