Jan 6, 2023 - News

Pedestrian traffic fatalities in Utah spiked in 2022

Data: Utah Department of Transportation; Chart: Axios Visuals

An estimated 320 people died on Utah roads in 2022, according to preliminary figures released by state transportation and public safety officials yesterday.

  • That's about a 4% increase compared to 2021.

By the numbers: Of the total fatalities this year, 53 were pedestrians, 50 were motorcyclists and 15 were bicyclists.

  • 12 children under the age of 10 also died on Utah roads, which is twice the 2021 number.

The big picture: It's the highest number of deaths recorded among those groups in the last five years.

  • John Gleason, the Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson, told Axios the high rate of fatalities was a result of "aggressive" driving behavior.

Meanwhile, men died in traffic fatalities at a significantly higher rate than women. Of the 320 killed, nearly 76% were men.

Zoom in: Last year, Salt Lake City officials reduced speed limits from 25 mph to 20 mph on most streets in response to an increase in fatal pedestrian accidents.

  • Research shows the risk of death drops significantly for pedestrians hit by cars traveling 20 mph compared to 25 mph.

What they're saying: "We have seen not only pedestrians but bicyclists and motorcyclists that have been killed at a higher rate," Gleason told Axios. "That's not acceptable."

  • "It's about watching out for those that are more vulnerable. They don't have the same protections that those in cars or trucks have," he continued.

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