What is the Most Dangerous Part of Utah to Ride Your Motorcycle?

Motorcycle accidents happen every day in Utah — but they aren’t distributed evenly throughout the state.  In this article, Salt Lake City motorcycle crash lawyer Darwin Overson compares county statistics to find out which areas of Utah have the most accidents and injuries.  Is your county among the most dangerous?  You may be surprised by the answer.

Utah Counties Ranked by Injury Motorcycle Crash Statistics

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Thanks to annual crash reports compiled by the Utah Department of Public Safety, it’s possible to get a sense of where, when, and why motorcycle accidents occur in Utah.  The reports tell us, for example, that Wednesday is the most dangerous day of the week to ride a motorcycle.  They tell us that failures to yield the right of way are among the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in Utah.

They also tell us where crashes are most — and least — likely to take place.

Predictably, Salt Lake County had the highest number of deaths and injuries from motorcycle accidents in 2014: 12 and 401, respectively.  With a population roughly double the size of the state’s second largest county, Utah County, it makes mathematical sense that Salt Lake County would account for the greatest number of injuries and fatalities.  The better question to ask, perhaps, is whether any counties reported a disproportionate number of accidents.

Here is how Utah’s counties ranked by population, from most to least populous, as of 2010, the last Census year before the report was prepared:

  1. Salt Lake County — 1,029,665 residents
  2. Utah County — 516,564
  3. Davis County — 306,479
  4. Weber County — 231,236
  5. Washington County — 138,115
  6. Cache County — 112,656
  7. Tooele County — 58,218
  8. Box Elder County — 49,975
  9. Iron County — 46,163
  10. Summit County — 36,324
  11. Uintah County — 27,882
  12. Sanpete County — 25,530
  13. Wasatch County — 23,530
  14. Carbon County — 21,403
  15. Sevier County — 20,802
  16. Duchesne County — 18,607
  17. San Juan County — 14,746
  18. Millard County —12,503
  19. Emery County — 10,976
  20. Juab County — 10,246
  21. Morgan County — 9,469
  22. Grand County — 9,225
  23. Kane County — 7,125
  24. Beaver County — 6,629
  25. Garfield County — 5,172
  26. Wayne County — 2,589
  27. Rich County – 2,264
  28. Piute County — 1,556
  29. Daggett County — 1,059

If the number of motorcycle crashes is proportionate to each county’s population, they should rank in the same order.  But do they?  Here’s how Utah’s counties compared for injury crashes in 2014:

  1. Salt Lake County — 401 motorcyclists injured
  2. Utah County — 190
  3. Weber County — 88
  4. Washington County — 69
  5. Davis County — 65
  6. Cache County — 34
  7. Tooele County — 25
  8. Box Elder County — 24
  9. Garfield County — 18
  10. Grand County, Iron County, Wasatch County — 13
  11. Uintah County — 12
  12. Duchesne County — 9
  13. San Juan County, Wayne County — 8
  14. Carbon County, Morgan County, Sanpete County — 7
  15. Kane County, Summit County — 6
  16. Emery County, Rich County — 5
  17. Beaver County, Juab County — 3
  18. Sevier County — 2
  19. Daggett County, Millard County — 1
  20. Piute County — 0

Even though the second list is shorter due to matched figures in several counties, some of the data is still surprising.  Garfield County, for example, is Utah’s fifth least populous county, yet actually had more injury crashes than counties with much larger populations, such as Carbon County, whose population is about four times larger.  Meanwhile, Grand and Iron County had the same number of motorcyclist injuries, despite a sizable population difference of roughly 37,000 residents.

Garfield County Has Highest Motorcycle Accident Rate in the State of Utah

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Another way to compare the best and worst Utah counties for motorcycle safety is to compare not their accident totals, but their accident rates, which reflect how many crashes occurred (with any outcome) per every 1,000 registered motorcycles.  When you rank by that measure, the list shuffles quite noticeably:

  1. Garfield County — 243.2 per 1,000 registered motorcycles
  2. Wayne County — 111.1
  3. Rich County — 102.9
  4. Daggett County — 45.5
  5. San Juan County — 42
  6. Kane County — 39.1
  7. Emery County — 33.8
  8. Grand County — 30.2
  9. Beaver County — 26.3
  10. Morgan County — 20.8
  11. Box Elder County — 19.5
  12. Salt Lake County — 19.4
  13. Washington County — 18.4
  14. Sanpete County — 17.2
  15. Duchesne County — 17.1
  16. Wasatch County, Utah County — 17
  17. Tooele County, Weber County — 16.6
  18. Iron County — 15.8
  19. Uintah County — 13.9
  20. Juab County — 12.3
  21. Carbon County — 12.2
  22. Cache County — 12.1
  23. Davis County — 8.7
  24. Sevier County — 6.3
  25. Summit County — 5.5
  26. Millard County — 3.5
  27. Piute County — 0

Based on accident rates, it’s actually the less populous counties that tend to pose the greater threat to motorcyclists.  Garfield County, with a population of less than 6,000, is more dangerous for motorcycling than Salt Lake County — or, for that matter, any other county in the state.

Conversely, Piute County scores excellent marks for motorcycle safety as the only county to report no injuries or fatalities.

Were You Involved in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Our Lawyers in Salt Lake

If you were injured in a motorcycle crash in Utah, you should talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about the possibility of getting compensated for your medical bills and other losses.  If you suffered whiplash from a motorcycle accident, or other serious injuries, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 to set up a free legal consultation today.  Though based in Salt Lake City, we handle auto accident claims throughout the state.

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