DefinitionMotor vehicle traffic crash deaths among Utah residents per 100,000. ICD-10 codes V02-04 [.1-.9], V09.2, V12-14 [.3-.9], V19 [.4-.6], V20-28 [.3-.9], V29-79 [.4-.9], V80 [.3-.5], V81-82 [.1], V83-86 [.0-.3], V87 [.0-.8], V89.2.
NumeratorNumber of Utah resident deaths due to motor vehicle traffic crashes.
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population of Utah.
Why Is This Important?In Utah in 2017, motor vehicle traffic crashes (MVTCs) accounted for 280 deaths. This was one of the main injury causes of death. Other types of injury death that year included suicide (663), accidental and undetermined poisoning (583), and unintentional falls (224).
Healthy People Objective IVP-13.1:Reduce motor vehicle crash-related deaths per 100,000 population
U.S. Target: 12.4 deaths per 100,000 population
State Target: 8.7 deaths per 100,000 population
Other ObjectivesUtah's 42 Community Health Indicators
How Are We Doing?The motor vehicle traffic crash (MVTC) death rate has been decreasing in Utah over the past two decades, although there was a significant increase between 2013 and 2014 and remained steady between 2014 and 2017.
Among males as a whole there was a significant increase in motor vehicle traffic death rates between 2013 and 2014. Rates have since remained steady through 2017. Among females as a whole, there were no significant changes in motor vehicle traffic death rates between 2013 and 2017.
Between 2015 and 2017, San Juan (59.2 per 100,000 population), Southeast (22.4), and Central Utah (15.4) health districts had the highest MVTC death rates. Summit County (3.4 per 100,000 population), Davis County (7.3 per 100,000 population), and Utah County (6.9 per 100,000 population) health districts had the lowest.
Utah males aged 65+ had the highest MVTC death rates (21.5 per 100,000 population) between 2015 and 2017, followed by males aged 45-64 (15.6) and males aged 25-44 (14.7). Among females, the highest MVTC death rate was among Utahns aged 65+ (8.5 per 100,000 population).
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2016 (the most recent year for U.S. data), Utah had a lower rate of MVTC deaths (8.9 deaths 100,000 population) than the U.S. (12.1).^1^[[br]]
1. CDC Injury Control and Prevention: Data & Statistics (WISQARS); Fatal Injury Reports, [http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/fatal.html]
What Is Being Done?The Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) provides funding to Utah's 13 local health departments to implement motor vehicle safety programs and Safe Kids coalitions/chapters activities. These programs focus on child passenger safety and teen driving. The VIPP partners with the Utah Teen Driving Safety Task Force, Zero Fatalities Program, and Utah Highway Safety Office, among other state and local agencies to prevent MVTC deaths. For the past eight years, a book has been published that tells the stories of teens who died in motor vehicle-related crashes. The book is distributed to each drivers education instructor in the state as a prevention tool. The books can be downloaded at [http://www.health.utah.gov/vipp/teens/teen-driving/] or [http://zerofatalitiesut.com/dont-drive-stupid/].
The Utah Department of Transportation Zero Fatalities Program ([http://ut.zerofatalities.com/]) is a comprehensive, educational campaign aimed at reducing Utah's top five causes of traffic related deaths: not buckling up, drowsy driving, impaired driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving.
Utah is one of 18 states that does not have a primary seat belt law. Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. Secondary seat belt laws state that law enforcement officers may issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another citable traffic infraction. The Utah Department of Public Safety conducts an annual safety belt observational survey to determine safety belt use for Utah. Overall, safety belt use in Utah for 2017 was 88.8%, an increase from the 2016 rate of 87.9%.
In 1999, a graduated driver licensing law (GDL) was enacted in Utah to address the concern of teenage driving and crashes. GDL programs allow young drivers to safely gain driving experience before obtaining full driving privileges. GDL programs are proven to reduce the number of fatal crashes among young drivers. Several changes have been made to the Utah GDL since 1999. There has been a 62% decrease in the rate of teens aged 15-17 killed in motor vehicle crashes since the Utah GDL laws went into effect in 1999. Prior to 1999, there was only a 31% decrease.
In 2000, the Utah Legislature upgraded the law to make child safety seat use mandatory for children through age four. In 2008, the Utah Legislature enacted a booster seat law, requiring children younger than 8 years of age to use an appropriate child restraint device like a car seat or a booster seat. Previously, the law only required children under the age of 5 to use an approved child restraint device. The new law now protects children from ages 5 through 7 through use of a booster seat or car seat. However, children younger than 8 who are at least 57 inches tall are exempt from the law and may use a regular seat belt.
In 2009, the Utah Legislature passed HB290 which prohibits texting and use of electronic mail while driving. In 2013, the Utah Legislature passed HB103 which bans drivers 18 years of age and younger from talking on a cell phone while driving. In 2014, the Utah Legislature passed SB253, which prohibits drivers from using cell phones and other electronic devices to manually dial phone numbers, access the internet, or take photos or videos while driving.
Health Program InformationThe Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) is a trusted and comprehensive resource for data related to violence and injury. Through education, this information helps promote partnerships and programs to prevent injuries and improve public health. VIPP goals are to a) focus prevention efforts on reducing intentional and unintentional injury, b) conduct education aimed at increasing awareness and changing behaviors that contribute to the occurrence of injury, c) strengthen local health department capacity to conduct local injury prevention programs, d) promote legislation, policy changes, and enforcement that will reduce injury hazards and increase safe behaviors, e) collaborate with private and public partners, and f) improve the Utah Department of Health capacity to collect mortality and morbidity data from multiple sources and conduct injury epidemiology for use in prevention planning, implementation, and evaluation.