Draper has the Highest Rate of Car Accident Fatalities
National traffic statistics routinely report that Utah is one of the relatively safest states in the country. In fact, Utah has the lowest rank of fatalities due to alcohol related car crashes nationwide. It is surprising then to discover that Draper, a beautiful suburb located near the Point of the Mountain, statistically is the most dangerous city in Utah.
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) released an in-depth report of the accident trends of each city in the State of Utah for the past twenty years. The report demonstrated that the State of Utah has pretty much consistently remained at 1.6-3.2 car accident fatalities per 100,000 persons. Draper on the other hand has seen a much higher increase in car accidents that resulted in deaths over the past decade. Draper had a record high rate of 9 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents per 100,000 persons in 2002. In 2003, Draper authorities reported 8 car accident fatalities per 100,000 persons while the nearby city of Sandy had only 2 fatalities that same year. During 2000-2003, Sandy City, a much larger and heavily populated city, did not have any fatalities caused by drunk drivers. National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) reports that the number one cause of death between the ages of 2-30 are traffic accidents. The main causes of these tragic car accidents include:
• Distracted Driving
• Drunk Driving
• Driver Fatigue
• Inclement weather conditions
• Aggressive Driving
Why Draper Residents are Prone to be involved in a Utah Car Accident
Mounting concern for the safety of Draper residents is justified. Most car crashes involving personal injury occur 3-5 miles from your home. The number of deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents undoubtedly has had a great affect on the tight knit communities of Draper City.
According to their research results, the National Highway Traffic Administration ( NHTSA) has provided a list of the main causes of motor vehicle accidents. Driving around Draper City one afternoon, it was plan to see that Draper residents are prone committing several of these mistakes that cause fatal car crashes in Utah.
Distracting Passengers Cause Fatal Accidents
9% of motorists who have been involved in a fatal car accident admit that their passengers had distracted them. In Draper, where 65% of the population is under 18, parents have the added responsibility of taking their children with them as they go about their daily lives. Children innocently cause the majority of these distractions. When one has multiple kids, the number of distractions and driving mishaps increases substantially! The common stereotype of the suburban housewife driving minivan filled with children while weaving in and out of traffic; tragically, has become an all too real phenomenon. A social phenomenon that has knowingly caused catastrophic accidents and personal injury. According to traffic authorities, when a driver is distracted he or she will increasingly drive erratically, speed, fail to yield and fail to properly use turning signals. Driving faster or slower than the flow of traffic has strongly been demonstrated to increase the likelihood and severity of crashes.
As a parent and a Utah personal injury attorney, I have been in the position of counseling families whose children have been victims of preventable car accidents. I know of almost nothing as tragic as having to deal with the challenge of losing a child due to a parent’s own distracted driving. Please remember these helpful guidelines when driving with passengers:
• Focus on the Road. Always. While your child may be frustrating, he or she is safer when
your attention remains on driving.
• Pull over in a calm and safe manner to address the issue at hand.
• Implement a reward system for kids who get fussy when driving.
• Don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Increasingly, children compete for attention
when parents are talking on cell phones. This usually results in a child throwing a tantrum.
• Distract your child not yourself! Children love listening to music and reading while driving.