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Which Types of Accidents Are Most Common in Utah?

Posted June 28, 2023 | Personal Injury Blog


Which Types of Accidents Are Most Common in Utah?

According to the latest statistics from the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were 61,406 motor vehicle accidents in Utah in 2021, causing over 26,437 injuries. Rear-end accidents were the most common type, accounting for 29.47 percent of all collisions. Single-vehicle accidents came a close second with 27.97 percent.

Despite these alarming statistics, Utah is one of the safest places to get behind the wheel in the United States. Crash figures show that Utah is the 8th-safest state in terms of deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, putting it 28 percent lower than the national average, way ahead of neighbors Nevada and Colorado.

Join us as we explore the most common types of Utah accidents in more detail. 

Rear-End Collisions – 29 Percent of Accidents

Rear-end vehicle crashes are not only the most common types of accidents in Utah but are also the most widely seen collisions throughout the country. 

At best, rear-end accidents are simple fender-benders that only result in damage to the vehicles involved. At their worst, though, rear-end crashes can cause:

  • Broken bones
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Wrist and arm damage

Rear-end collisions occur for several reasons, including distracted driving, driving too close, aggressive driving, and poor weather conditions. According to Utah crash statistics, the leading cause of 20.81 percent of non-fatal accidents was following too closely, which may account for many of the rear-end crashes reported that year.

When a rear-end car wreck leaves a person with serious injuries or long-term disabilities, seeking qualified legal advice is vital. An experienced auto accident lawyer can carefully review your case and explain the legal avenues you can pursue.

Single-Vehicle Crashes – 28 Percent of Accidents

Single-vehicle crashes are often caused by either being distracted or encountering an unexpected obstacle on the road. Some people have lost concentration while adjusting their vehicle’s heat controls or music system. Others have swerved to avoid fallen rocks, animals like deer, and construction work on the road. Driving too fast for road or weather conditions is sometimes another factor.

Any impact can cause serious injuries to the driver and passengers. Even if you were the only vehicle involved in a collision, it is important to seek legal advice to discover whether you have any legal options for pursuing compensation.

Side-Impact Accidents – 23 Percent of Accidents

Sideswipe crashes often happen when two vehicle lanes merge, such as when vehicles join the freeway from an on-ramp. Drivers may jump a red light or ignore a stop sign, ramming into the side of a vehicle traveling perpendicular to them. 

Side-impact crashes can be particularly damaging, sometimes causing:

  • Crush injuries to the chest and pelvis
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord damage

These injuries can have long-term consequences, including paralysis and chronic pain. This could affect your ability to work and may mean you need ongoing caretaker support.

Sideswipe Collisions (Same Direction) – 11 Percent of Accidents

Sideswipe crashes often happen when two lanes of vehicles are merging, such as when vehicles join the freeway from an on-ramp. These often occur because the driver failed to check his or her mirrors and blind spots before merging. 

The side of most vehicles does not offer as much protection as the front and rear bumpers, so it is common for these accidents to result in serious injuries. Additionally, the impact may cause a secondary collision with another vehicle or a barrier. 

Parked Vehicle Crashes – 4.5 Percent of Accidents

It is very easy to hit a parked vehicle, especially when maneuvering in a tight space, such as a parking lot. Parked vehicle accidents can be caused by distractions inside your own vehicle, including cell phones and passengers, but other people’s negligence can also contribute to such collisions. 

At best, you may come away with only minor vehicle damage, but even these low-speed collisions can cause whiplash and other injuries. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to pursue a claim for compensation.

Head-On Collisions – 1 Percent of Accidents

Head-on collisions often occur because one of the drivers is under the influence of alcohol or drugs or has fallen asleep at the wheel. 

Head-on collisions are usually terrifying and can cause serious injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Whiplash
  • Chest injuries

Where Crashes Happen in Utah

The highest number of crashes in Utah happen in Salt Lake City (5.68 percent) and Salt Lake County (40.28 percent). The next most dangerous place for a Utah motorist was Utah County, with 17.48 percent of collisions.

Provo, the second-largest city in Utah, only had the 10th-highest number of collisions by city. Second place went to Murray with 3.43 percent, despite being only the 14th-largest city in Utah. With only 935 residents, Daggett County was the safest place to take to the road.

Urban vs. rural roads

Rural roads seem to be safer than urban ones in Utah. 53,450 vehicle crashes occurred on urban roads in 2021, while only 7,956 happened on rural ones. However, bear in mind that 90 percent of Utah’s population lives in urban areas.

This could also be linked to the fact that 45 percent of all crashes happen at intersections. The higher number of intersections on city roads may partly explain this.

Speed and road conditions

You might expect that wet or icy roads would be the most dangerous, but over 80 percent of crashes take place on dry roads. 

Speed often plays a role in collisions. The higher the posted speed, the greater the number of accidents, with half of all accidents occurring on 70 or 65-mile-per-hour sections of road. Yet, 35 percent of crashes occur while vehicles are traveling between 0 and 9 miles per hour. This shows how easy it is to become distracted and collide while crawling in traffic or maneuvering. 

How to Pursue Compensation After a Utah Car Accident

Although Utah is a great place to live and drive, accidents still happen. If you have been in a car wreck that was not your fault, now is the time to explore your legal options with the assistance of Fielding Law’s auto accident attorneys. We focus on all types of vehicle crash claims, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. 

Our case results show that our lawyers have a great track record of achieving big wins on behalf of our clients. In one recent case, we represented a bus accident victim and secured a settlement of $1.6 million.

It only takes one phone call to determine whether you have a case. Call us at (877) 880-4090 any time of the day or night to schedule a free case evaluation.

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Text edited by Mitchell Fielding, a personal injury lawyer and partner at Fielding Law. Mitchell is known for his hard work ethic, friendly personality and dedication to the law. You can find out personal injury law offices in Taylorsville, UT and Mesquite, TX.