The Utah Department of Public Safety estimates that Utah has an average of five driving-related deaths every day between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen said that because of this increase officers on patrol are more likely to pull someone over on the road but their intention may not be to give them a ticket.
“There’s always that moment when you see those red and blue lights in your rearview mirror and your little heart sinks and hopefully that’s a wakeup call,” Jensen said. “I’m not advocating that we go out and be more harsh with citations but officers do certainly make traffic stops trying to educate the public as to what might be something that they can do better to avoid accidents.”
Jensen recommended that holiday drivers make sure they aren’t distracted while driving and slow down even if the roads don’t look icy and that before the driver even gets in the car they should take the extra time to properly scrape off their windows.
“People not taking that extra half a second to scrape their windshield appropriately or rear window and just getting their car ready to drive before they get on the road,” Jensen said. “Those things cause crashes that increase our number.”
Despite taking every precaution, Jensen said a driver can still get in an accident and that if that happens wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between life and death.
“Just the other day a young man lost his life and we attribute that fatal accident to not wearing a seatbelt. So obviously when you get your car ready and get in strap that belt across you,” Jensen said.
On Saturday 25-year-old Luis Vital of Idaho was killed after his car was hit in a Logan intersection. Jensen hopes that this year he will see fewer accidents and more drivers getting home safe.