For this upcoming New Year’s, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has a goal of no deaths on Utah roads. John Gleason, a spokesman for UDOT, in an article published by KSL, said that UDOT hoped to have a New Years similar to 2012 when there were not any deaths on freeways and streets in Utah. According to UDOT, 2016 had one death, 2015 had three, 2014 had two, and 2013 had one.
Over the past Christmas weekend, one person died. John Gleason commented saying, “One fatality is too many.” Along with the one death, there were a reported 200 accidents, likely attributable to the icy road conditions stemming from the Christmas Eve snowstorm. Although predicting the weather in Utah can sometimes be a challenge, forecasts have a light wintry mix projected for Saturday with a 30 percent chance of precipitation. So there is a slight possibility of bad driving conditions.
New Year’s Eve/Day is one of the most dangerous days to drive. Many people are not adequately cautious, then drink and drive. Increased numbers of people on the roads and the increased numbers of drunk drivers make for a deadly combination. According to USA Today, New Year’s Eve is one of the worst travel days. Not only are airlines busy, but many people are out driving to visit friends and relatives. We encourage everyone to stay safe this New Year’s Eve. Take whatever precautions necessary to be sure you are out of harm’s way.
Gleason encouraged all drivers to take certain precautions when driving over the upcoming weekend. For example, cancel a trip if you are tired. Also, for those who know they will be drinking, confirm that you have a designated driver. We here at The Advocates would also like to encourage everyone to be safe this New Years. Remember to drive slowly, especially if the roads are icy. If you start to slide on the ice, do not punch your break or press on your gas, this will likely make matters worse. Remember, even if you are a little late to a holiday party, it is better to arrive late, than to have a bad accident.