Dept. of Public Safety Releases 2015 Utah Drunk Driving Accident, Injury, and Fatality Statistics

The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) publishes annual reports on auto accidents.  These reports include information about speed, weather, time of day, and many other crash factors.  While most of the data from 2015 has yet to be released as of October 2016, the DPS has made several of the reports available, including the 2015 report on alcohol-related crashes and drunk driving accidents.  If you were hit by a drunk driver in Salt Lake City or another location in Utah, you should speak to a Salt Lake City car accident lawyer as soon as possible.  You may be able to recover compensation for medical bills and other expenses arising from your injuries.

Davis, Weber, Utah, Salt Lake Counties Have State’s Most DUI Arrests

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Drunk driving is a widespread problem in the United States.  In 2014, nearly 11,000 people were arrested for DUI in the state of Utah alone.  Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports the number as being over 1 million – and those are only the drivers who were noticed by police officers.

The actual number of people who drive while intoxicated is probably much higher.  According to a 2012 study in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which is published by the CDC, “An estimated 4.2 million adults reported at least one alcohol-impaired driving episode in the preceding 30 days, resulting in an estimated 121 million episodes and a national rate of 505 episodes per 1,000 population annually.”

In Utah, drunk driving seems to be most prevalent in Davis County, Salt Lake County, Utah County, and Weber County.  The Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice reported that together, these four counties accounted for nearly three quarters of all Utah’s DUI arrests in 2014.  And, while DUI arrests declined from 2013 to 2014, the number of accident fatalities increased during the preceding years, climbing from 9.2% to 10.5% from 2012 to 2013.

None of these figures paint a particularly positive picture of intoxicated driving trends in the United States, and unfortunately, Utah does not seem to be an exception.  But is it possible that Utah’s intoxicated driving statistics improved in 2015?  That question can be answered by DPS data, which shows how drunk driving trends have changed in Utah over the past several years.

2015 Statistics on Alcohol-Related Crashes, Injuries, and Fatalities in Utah

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According to reports by the Department of Public Safety, there were 54,036 vehicular accidents in Utah in 2014, including car accidents, bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of automotive accidents.  Collectively, these accidents injured 23,364 people, while 256 people lost their lives.

In 2015, the total number of crashes increased by 5,976, rising from 54,036 to 60,012 accidents.  These crashes caused 25,350 people to be injured: 1,986 more people than in 2014.  Additionally, a total of 278 people were killed: 22 more fatalities than the previous year.

Both years, a significant portion of reported crashes, deaths, and injuries were caused by intoxicated driving, or had intoxication as a major contributing factor.  The question is, are the numbers going up or down?

Exactly 2,130 out of the 54,036 crashes reported in 2014 involved alcohol.  In other words, 3.9% of the auto accidents in Utah in 2014 were alcohol-related.  The same year, alcohol was found to be a factor in:

  • 5.7% of injury crashes (938 out of 16,426)
  • 16.7% of fatal crashes (37 out of 222)
  • 17.6% of accident-related fatalities (45 out of 256)

In 2015, a smaller percentage of auto accidents were alcohol-related: 2,021 out of 60,012, or 3.4%.  That’s a slight improvement over the 3.9% figure seen in 2014 (though still higher than the 3.1% figure reported in 2013, when 1,736 out of 55,637 crashes were alcohol-related).

In 2015, alcohol was identified as a factor in:

  • 4.7% of injury crashes (830 out of 17,665)
  • 12% of fatal crashes (31 out of 258)
  • 13.3% of accident-related fatalities (37 out of 278)

By comparing these two sets of data, you can see Utah actually had some major improvements from 2014 to 2015, with significant reductions in the percentages of injury crashes, fatal crashes, and deaths attributed to intoxication.  Unfortunately, while it’s promising that alcohol played a smaller role in 2015, the overall numbers of injury crashes, fatal crashes, and accident-related fatalities all still increased.

Were You Hit by a Drunk Driver on I-15? Contact a Salt Lake City Car Accident Lawyer

DPS statistics show that, while intoxicated driving is becoming less of a problem, injuries and fatalities are becoming more frequent.  If you or one of your family members was recently injured in a car accident in Utah, or if a loved one was killed in a fatal crash, compensation may be available for current and anticipated expenses and losses, including medical bills, losses of income, loss of support, funeral expenses, and other damages.

With over 33 years of experience handling personal injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits in Utah, car accident lawyer Darwin Overson can fight to help you get compensated and hold the at-fault driver accountable.  To talk about whether you have a case in a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143 as soon as possible.

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