A few years ago, the Utah Department of Transportation launched a public relations blitz called "Zero fatalities, a number we can all live with."

On that same evening newscast there were three different stories on serious car crashes in Utah, all with deadly or near deadly results.

It was an ironic twist to the PR campaign, but the deadly accidents did present a real picture of a problem Utah (and most other states) has during the summer driving season.

More people are driving. And they're going faster and faster. Oh yeah, and some of them are also tinkering with their phones while doing all this driving.

And though we'll never achieve that "Zero fatalities" goal from the 100 deadliest days of driving -- Memorial Day to Labor Day (see chart below), maybe we can get a little bit closer.

A recent post by the St. George Police Department offers this counsel.

"It's officially summer and we have entered what are known as the 100 Deadliest Days, the 100-day stretch between Memorial Day and Labor Day in which motor vehicle accidents and fatalities increase drastically. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your teen drivers safe year round.

  1. Put your cell phone on "Do Not Disturb" and encourage your teens to do the same: focused driving is safe driving
  2. Always wear a seatbelt! They can save your life
  3. Discuss road safety with your teen drivers: come up with some driving habits that can increase their safety behind the wheel
  4. Obey all posted speed limits
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The Most Common Traffic Related Crimes in St. George are Easily Preventable

Photo made in Canva.
Photo made in Canva.

Public Information Officer Tiffany Mitchell is continuing to educate the drivers of Southern Utah with her Motor Minute live streams on the St. Geroge Police Department’s Facebook page.

The March 14 edition of Motor Minute focused on the six deadly sins that cause traffic accidents in Washington County. To convey these issues, Officer Mitchell enlisted the help of Officer Blackman from the traffic division of the SGPD.

According to Officer Mitchell, the six deadly sins leading to traffic accidents are…

  1. Right of Way
  2. Speed
  3. Distracted Driving
  4. Impaired Driving (DUI)
  5. Reckless Driving
  6. Tailgating (Following Too Close Behind a Vehicle)

These issues are a constant factor in traffic accidents in Southern Utah and can lead to injury and even death if not taken seriously.

Let’s dive into each one in more detail.

Right of Way

The video used the example of a woman who cut off another vehicle when making a left-hand turn. Improper lane changes can also be considered a violation related to the right of way. The most important way to avoid this issue is to be considerate of other drivers.


This is pretty self-explanatory, but high speeds on busy city streets make your chances of surviving a crash go down drastically. Officer Mitchell and Blackman said in the video that most people hover about five to nine miles per hour above the speed limit. This is also a big contributor to the issue.

Distracted Driving

While phones play a big part in distracting drivers, the term distracted driving applies to anything that diverts your attention from the wheel. This means eating while driving, listening to music, turning your head to talk to your passengers, and so much more.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving applies to anyone who is driving while under the influence of a foreign substance. Alcohol, marijuana, other illegal narcotics, and even a new medication can affect your judgment on the road. Yes, impaired driving doesn’t just apply to reckless behavior. Sometimes it can be a side effect from something you need to take for a medical purpose.

Reckless Driving

Also known as road rage in some instances, reckless driving is a conscious decision to interfere with other drivers on the road, endangering lives in the process. Maybe someone cut you off on the road, or a driver is bobbing and weaving through traffic at a high speed. On top of being incredibly dangerous to the driver and the people around them, it can also be expensive since tickets for reckless driving can cost you around $1,000 in some cases.


Under no circumstances should you be driving bumper on any street or freeway. It’s an accident just waiting to happen, and there’s a very simple way to avoid it. Officer Blackman said to give yourself about two seconds' worth of space. That can be interpreted as two car lengths, but it’s two seconds of space between vehicles.

Please watch the full video if want to hear stories related to every one of these six deadly sins and remember to wear your seatbelt during even the shortest of commutes. Your life matters.

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The Truth Behind 'I'm Just Buzzed' And Other Alcohol Myths


People who drink alcoholic beverages and then make the decision to drive a motor vehicle will make all kinds of excuses and rationalizations.

They'll say things like "I'm not drunk, just buzzed," or "I just had a little," or "I feel perfectly fine."

So to demystify the effects alcohol has on the average person, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has put out a chart on what happens to someone who imbibes.


Keep in mind that the blood alcohol legal limit in Utah is .05.

The chart also does not attempt to quantify how many drinks will get you to those BAC plateaus.

There are so many factors that go into figuring that out that most websites and experts defer when asked how many drinks make you legally drunk.

Factors that can affect an individual's BAC include:

  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Drink's alcohol level
  • Drink size
  • Food intake
  • Water/liquid intake
  • Weather
  • Medical conditions
  • Medication
  • Time

Plus, alcoholic drinks are very different when it comes to the amount of alcohol in each one. From the website gorelick-law.com, here are just a couple of the differences:

"When counting drinks to estimate BAC, it is important to understand how different the amount of alcohol can be based on the drink. According to the charts, one drink is equal to .06 ounces of 100% alcohol. This includes:

  • 1 1/2 ounces of 80 proof liquor;
  • 12 ounces of a 5% beer (Utah was 3.2% beer for 86 years, but changed to 5% in 2019)
  • 5 ounces of a 12% wine.

When people are out with friends or having drinks with dinner, it can be difficult to estimate drinks. Sharing a bottle of wine makes it hard to know how many drinks each person had, especially when the drinks keep getting topped off. Going to a brewery and sampling a number of beers may be deceptive as the small tasting glasses could be 4 to 6 ounces and some craft beers or barley wines can be 10% or higher."

Unfortunately, we've seen quite clearly in recent times how deadly and devastating drunk driving can be.

the concept for drink driving

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