While engineers, safety advocates and government leaders spend countless hours trying to make the roads and intersections in Utah safer, the truth is hard to swallow: No amount of engineering can account for the biggest problem -- human error.

A recent study by badintersections.com and several injury attorney firms confirmed what we intuitively already knew -- 90 percent of all accidents at intersections are caused by human error -- ofttimes intentional (running red lights, speeding).

These accidents include, car vs. car, car vs. pedestrian, car vs. cyclist, and even car vs. stationary object (like a pole, post or building).

This list includes only signalized intersections, as signalized intersections have much higher accident rates due to their much higher rate of use.

The top 10 most dangerous intersections in the state of Utah:

  1. 41st South and Redwood, Taylorsville.
  2. 45th South and State Street, Murray
  3. 35th South and and Redwood, West Valley City
  4. 17th South and State, Salt Lake City
  5. 7800 South and 700 East, Sandy
  6. Washington Boulevard and 20th Street , Ogden
  7. 5400 South and Commerce Drive, Taylorsville
  8. River Road and Riverside Drive, St. George
  9. 400 South and Main, Logan
  10. Boulevard and Bluff, St. George

The worst ones on the list are in the Salt Lake Valley and interestingly, no intersections in Utah County made the list. However all the above intersections involve stop lights, speed and heavy traffic on a daily basis.

Attorneys with Siegfried and Jensen attorneys at law suggest these steps if you do find yourself in an accident:

If you’re involved in an accident at an intersection, the health and safety of you and your passengers are your top priorities. Before taking any other steps, check yourself and your passengers for visible injuries or internal pain. Call 911 immediately, even if you don’t see any injuries! The dispatcher will send police and emergency medical personnel to assist you and keep you safe.

"Once you and your passengers are safe and under the care of medical professionals (if necessary), begin gathering the following information for any insurance and legal claims you may make:

  • Summarize the sequence of events for responding police officers.
  • Obtain contact and insurance information from other parties involved in the accident.
  • Take photos of vehicle damage and the scene.
  • Document any injuries.
  • Gather the contact information of any witnesses."

Tyler Todd, from We Win Injury Law in St. George posted this bit of advice as well:

"If you are involved in a car accident in St. George, identifying the at-fault party is key to seeking fair compensation and justice. Determining fault can be relatively straightforward if the collision involves just one other driver. However, when an accident includes multiple vehicles, identifying the liable party becomes considerably more complex. In these situations, a thorough investigation is essential to unravel the sequence of events leading to the accident. Because these collisions can be so complex, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer who can conduct this assessment on your behalf."

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Grand Canyon's Hidden Horrors: 900 Tragic Stories You Need To Know

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Photo by Omer Nezih Gerek on Unsplash

I'm not a morbid guy.

I don't relish the thought of death or dying and I have no stomach for the macabre or gory.

That said, I do enjoy (like many of you) the study of human nature and the reason we do the things we do, act the way we act and say the things we say. I am curious about life and even death.

I'm also a fan of the Grand Canyon. I've been there dozens of times, even hiked rim to rim once, and feel blessed to have the "World's Biggest Hole in the Ground" right in our own backyard.

So when I came across a website recently that stated that more than 900 people have died in or around the Grand Canyon (of non-natural causes), I felt compelled to investigate.

Not only did the site make the claim, but it had the story of virtually every death.

"Over 900 deaths (of non-natural causes) have occurred in Grand Canyon since the first river exploration by John Wesley Powell and his crew in 1869 including suicides, aircraft collisions, drive-offs, snake bites and tourists falling off the rim today. Explore this map to discover the trials, tribulations, incidents, and often heartrending stories of how these souls perished in one of the most beautiful and iconic, yet hostile environments on Earth."

The website's map was created by Kenneth Field (@kennethfield). Originally based on the book by Michael Ghiglieri and Thomas Myers (Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon published in 2012), and updated using National Park Service data, this map shows all known recorded deaths up to the end of 2018 using pictogram symbols to characterize the circumstances of death.

The site provides the interactive map here.

You can also Download a print version of this map! and get ready to view in stunning 3D as a giant poster....or just admire the amount of red used to print it!

Some of the things I learned

  • The biggest single death event was when two planes carrying 128 people crashed mid-air above the Grand Canyon, killing all aboard. All totaled, 379 people have died in airplane and helicopter crashes in the Grand Canyon.
  • There have been 91 deaths ruled suicide in the Grand Canyon. Thirteen of those drove vehicles over the edge, including three in one year (1993).
  • One person jumped out of a helicopter while on a tour of the canyon, to the shock of the others on the helicopter.
  • 124 of the deaths were ruled as "environmental deaths," meaning the victims succumbed to heat, over-exertion, freezing or flash floods (as well as drinking too much water and lightning strikes).
  • Surprisingly, there have been 39 murders in the Grand Canyon.
  • In case you're wondering, no one has ever died on one of those scary mule rides down the canyon, although one rider was killed when a mule got spooked, tripped and landed on the individual.
  • Only 180 of the 900-plus deaths are from accidental falls.

Again, check out the book Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, by Michael P. Ghiglieri and Thomas M. Myers.

Another great resource on deaths in the Grand Canyon was written and posted by Matt and Cheryl.

LOOK: Must-do activities at every national park

Stacker lists the must-do activities at every national park ranked by the annual number of visitors. 

Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

Gallery Credit: Alexander Raeburn

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