Traffic accident rates always increase in the winter months when the beauty of a fresh snowfall combines with icy roadways and makes for a less than ideal driving circumstance. Drivers along Utah’s Wasatch Front are not new to this concept. Reports of snowmobile accidents, multiple car pileups and multitudes of fender benders in icy parking lots during these winter months is also not new news. But The Daily Herald suggests in this online article that some intersections are simply inherently more dangerous in Utah, regardless of weather conditions, and Salt Lake City lawyers representing car accident or injury victims are probably aware of the ten most dangerous intersections in Utah County.
Salt Lake City lawyers: some intersections are simply more dangerous, regardless of wintry weather
The Utah Department of Transportation points out what, to most, is common sense: the higher the volume of traffic at an intersection, the higher the rate of accidents at said intersection. 800 North and State Street in Orem, for example, saw 112 crashes within a three-year span from 2010-2012. Salt Lake City lawyers may question the statistic that seven of the top 10 intersections reporting the most crashes are in Orem, Utah with four on State Street and three on University Parkway. The Daily Herald proposes that the design of an intersection can have an impact on how many accidents happen, but Lt. Craig Martinez with the Orem Department of Public Safety argues that the crashes aren’t being caused by poorly designed intersections or light timing.
So what are the causes? And why the high rate of accidents in such a small, concentrated, geographic area? Lt. Martinez speculates that many accidents occur because people fail to yield turns. “Everybody seems to be in a hurry,” he noted. The director of traffic and safety for UDOT, Robert Hull, expresses agreement with Lt. Martinez, emphasizing that if drivers would change a few behaviors, many crashes could be prevented. Talking on the phone while driving is classified as careless driving and is designated as a secondary offense – meaning a driver can’t be stopped for cell-phone use only. Texting while driving is banned entirely. However, these laws only occasionally promote actual change in drivers. Nationwide campaigns that promote safe driving, including the elimination of texting while driving, include testimonials and bandwagon propaganda in TV commercials and city billboards. Salt Lake City lawyers and Wasatch Front drivers should also consider Hull’s recent statement, “UDOT works carefully to design safe intersections, but we can only do so much.”
Improving the safety for drivers on Utah’s roads is only partially up to UDOT. In large, it’s up to you, me, and all drivers we share the road with. Individual drivers’ impact on improving the safety of these intersections really can’t be over emphasized. Most accidents, Hull said, can be prevented if drivers simply pay attention to their surroundings and follow the laws. Salt Lake City lawyers representing accident victims are all too aware of this fact. Hull calls for increased patience and improved planning on behalf of the driver so the need to rush through traffic is eliminated. Variable road conditions in winter or poorly-lit circumstances also vastly impact a driver’s ability to control the vehicle and timely response to stimuli to avoid accidents, so extra caution is advisable in these situations.
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Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah
|City of Salt Lake City|
“The Crossroads of the West”
|Named for||Great Salt Lake|
|• Type||Strong Mayor–council|
|• Mayor||Erin Mendenhall (D)|
|• City||110.81 sq mi (286.99 km2)|
|• Land||110.34 sq mi (285.77 km2)|
|• Water||0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)|
||4,327 ft (1,288 m)|
|• Rank||122nd in the United States
1st in Utah
|• Density||1,797.52/sq mi (701.84/km2)|
| • Urban
||1,021,243 (US: 42nd)|
| • Metro
||1,257,936 (US: 47th)|
| • CSA
||2,606,548 (US: 22nd)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (Mountain)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6|
|Area codes||801, 385|
|GNIS feature ID||1454997|
|Major airport||Salt Lake City International Airport|
|Website||Salt Lake City Government|
Salt Lake City (often shortened to Salt Lake and abbreviated as SLC) is the capital and most populous city of Utah, as well as the seat of Salt Lake County, the most populous county in Utah. With a population of 199,723 in 2020, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which had a population of 1,257,936 at the 2020 census. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile (190 km) segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,606,548 (as of 2018 estimates), making it the 22nd largest in the nation. It is also the central core of the larger of only two major urban areas located within the Great Basin (the other being Reno, Nevada).
Salt Lake City was founded July 24, 1847, by early pioneer settlers, led by Brigham Young, who were seeking to escape persecution they had experienced while living farther east. The Mormon pioneers, as they would come to be known, entered a semi-arid valley and immediately began planning and building an extensive irrigation network which could feed the population and foster future growth. Salt Lake City’s street grid system is based on a standard compass grid plan, with the southeast corner of Temple Square (the area containing the Salt Lake Temple in downtown Salt Lake City) serving as the origin of the Salt Lake meridian. Owing to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was originally named Great Salt Lake City. In 1868, the word “Great” was dropped from the city’s name.
Immigration of international members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, mining booms, and the construction of the first transcontinental railroad initially brought economic growth, and the city was nicknamed “The Crossroads of the West”. It was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, now intersect in the city. The city also has a belt route, I-215.
Salt Lake City has developed a strong tourist industry based primarily on skiing and outdoor recreation. It hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. It is known for its politically progressive and diverse culture, which stands at contrast with the rest of the state’s conservative leanings. It is home to a significant LGBT community and hosts the annual Utah Pride Festival. It is the industrial banking center of the United States. Salt Lake City and the surrounding area are also the location of several institutions of higher education including the state’s flagship research school, the University of Utah. Sustained drought in Utah has more recently strained Salt Lake City’s water security and caused the Great Salt Lake level drop to record low levels, and impacting the state’s economy, of which the Wasatch Front area anchored by Salt Lake City constitutes 80%.