ski utahEveryone has their own feelings about the driving habits of others. Yes, with our statistically proven tendency to overestimate our own driving ability, the average driver must come up with all sorts of ideas explaining why everyone else seems so reckless. I’m willing to bet that many readers have recently exclaimed some variation on the oft repeated phrase, “Utah drivers are the worst!” It seems like we never signal, drive too fast, and hog the road with overkill SUVs. Of course there are people of all driving abilities in Utah, but stereotypes aren’t about being accurate, they’re about being easy. Still, as harmful as they can be, stereotypes have to come from somewhere don’t they?

As it turns out, a recent report by Car Insurance Comparison hashes out the difference between fact and fiction.

What Determines the Quality of A Driver?

Their research is based on a meta-analysis using statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Motorists Association (NMA), and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The data was analyzed to determine the levels of accident and fatality rates, driver carelessness numbers, and overall safety of driving within a state. The following criteria were used:

  • Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled
  • Failure to Obey (Traffic Signals/ Seat Belt citations)
  • Drunk Driving
  • Tickets
  • Careless Driving

A final total was then given to each state based on their scores in each category.

How Did Utah Rank in Each of the Categories?

Let’s see where the Beehive State stands:

  • 14th Fatalities Rate
  • 12th Failure to Obey (Traffic Signals + Seat Belts)
  • 1st   Drunk Driving
  • 20th Tickets
  • 23rd Careless Driving

What’s more impressive is that Utah comes in at a whopping second overall, and takes number one for fewest drunk driving incidents. The report mentions that there is a strong correlation between drunk driving laws and overall DUI and accident/fatality rates, a fact which certainly helps Utah’s safety ranking. The full table with a complete list of rankings can be found here.

What This Has to do With Your Insurance

Figuring out your state’s driving record can help you stay safe, but where you live also affects insurance rates (based on numbers of careless drivers) within a state. Each state in the U.S. has its own requirements for insurance, as well as comparative prices based on these accident numbers.

Utah requires each driver to have PIP (personal injury protection) insurance as part of a “No Fault” package which includes:

  1. coverage of healthcare costs (if insured)
  2. reimbursement of lost wages
  3. funeral costs (in case of fatal accident)

Other required levels of no-fault insurance required by Utah State Law, according to Car Insurance Comparison, are:

  • $25,000 for injuries sustained by a single driver
  • $50,000 for the combined medical expenses of passengers
  • $15,000 for any property damages, including but not limited to public property and the victim’s vehicle

What Does This Mean for Me?

Because accidents are often caused by other people’s carelessness or recklessness, they are not always avoidable. We recommend that all drivers seek Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM), which provide:

Coverage available under your personal automobile insurance policy for an accident with a vehicle whose insurance has been exhausted or lacks insurance to cover the injuries and damages. (7 Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Utah Accident Case)

People of all ages can suffer from accidents, small or serious. If you or someone you know has been a victim of another’s reckless or negligent driving, you deserve to be compensated. Call our experienced attorneys at 801-506-0800 so they can help you receive proper compensation.

Photo copy right to Zul32

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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