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The fact traffic deaths in the U.S. are at their lowest level since 1950 is certainly good news for the motoring public. Still, there is significant room for improvement, especially in the areas of curbing distracted and impaired driving.
In Utah, the fatality trend is similar. The 245 traffic deaths in 2009 was the lowest total in 40-years. In the last decade alone, fatalities are down 34- percent. And through July of this year, there have been nearly 30 fewer fatalities than during the same time last year.
Chalk it up to better roads, higher quality vehicles and a series of very aggressive public awareness campaigns to promote highway safety. This is happening even as citizens are driving more than ever.
Despite such good news, Utah's goal of "Zero Fatalities" remains elusive, primarily because some motorists continue to speed, ignore seat belt and child restraint laws, and drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even drowsy driving takes a high toll. Most worrisome these days is the way drivers become distracted by cell phone use and especially texting, which motorists need to remember, is outlawed by state law.
The highways can become even safer, in KSL's view, as conscientious motorists continue to be reminded of their responsibilities once behind the wheel.