Fatal crashes, auto-pedestrian accidents across Utah up from last year

Nov 8, 2021, 8:03 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:00 pm

(Stock photo)...

(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

SALT LAKE CITY – A deadly auto-pedestrian crash in Salt Lake City is the latest example of how dangerous 2021 has been for Utahns walking along streets and highways.  They’re worried the number of auto-pedestrian crashes will continue to climb now that darkness falls sooner. 

So far this year, more people were killed in car accidents than in all of 2020.  Last year, 247 people died, statewide, in deadly traffic accidents.  In 2019, there were 204 people killed in Utah’s roadways.  However, 277 people have been killed since the beginning of 2021.

Auto-pedestrian crashes on the rise

Investigators say the number of deadly auto-ped crashes went up this year, also.  Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Cameron Roden says 34 pedestrians died so far in 2021, which is a 25 percent increase over the past seven-year average.  Conditions are especially dangerous when the sun goes down, with a large number of the deadly crashes happening in the late afternoon-early evening hours.

“Over 39 percent of those [auto-peds] are happening during that time,” Roden said.

No one common factor

Limited visibility isn’t the only contributing factor to this uptick. However, Roden says there doesn’t seem to be one common factor behind these fatalities.  He says there’s a mixture of problems leading to these deadly crashes, including speeding and cell phone use.

“Distracted driving is a problem.  Fatigue while driving is another problem,” Roden said.  “Drivers play one side of it, but the pedestrians also play the other side.”

When it comes to distracted driving, Roden says those cases are not always easy to investigate.

“The potential districted driver isn’t always so forthcoming in saying distraction was part of it,” he said.

According to Roden, drivers are not always at fault in auto-ped crashes.  He says pedestrians need to be just as careful in preventing road deaths.

“Crossing at a crosswalk or a crossing signal is going to, ultimately, be the safest instead of crossing mid-block, especially when the daylight hours are dark and someone is not going to see you,” he said.

With nearly two months left in the calendar year, the state is on pace to surpass the number of deadly in 2016, when a total of 281 people died on Utah’s roads.

Read More:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Lawmaker talks about arming school workers, despite studies saying guards don’t prevent gun violence

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

49 minutes ago

Bountiful police car...


One man dead after shooting in Bountiful

Officers in Bountiful arrived on the scene and found a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound. The man later died at the hospital.

1 day ago

execution chamber in idaho prison...

Associated Press

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

Thomas Eugene Creech Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S., was wheeled into the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution on a gurney at 10 a.m.

2 days ago

Ruby Franke stands with her attorney, Lamar Winward, at her sentencing on Tuesday. Her brother and ...

Jessica Lowell

Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt transferred to Utah State Correctional Facility

The two women will each spend one to 15 years at the facility for child abuse.

2 days ago

Ruby Franke appears in a virtual court appearance....

Adam Small

Utah legislators hear from Kevin Franke on life coach regulation

Lawmakers hear from Kevin Franke about regulating life coaches. His ex-wife Ruby Franke and her partner Jodi Hildebrandt are in prison.

2 days ago

Former president Donald Trump, Manhattan trial...


With trial starting next month, Manhattan DA asks judge for a gag order in Trump’s hush-money case

The Manhattan DA's office asked that Trump be barred from making or directing others to make public statements about people involved in the case.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Fatal crashes, auto-pedestrian accidents across Utah up from last year