In 2018, Utah’s highway death rate dropped to its lowest level in perhaps decades

Utah roads were less deadly last year than they have been in decades, thanks to more people buckling up and fewer motorists drinking and driving — perhaps because they thought Utah’s new toughest-in-the-nation drunken driving law took effect earlier than it really did.

Utah’s death rate per million miles traveled in 2018 was 0.80. The lowest ever measured was 0.81 in 2013 — when highways deaths had been the lowest in a half century, said Jason Davis, deputy director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

In comparison, the national highway death rate in 2017, the most recent year with available data, was 1.16 — 45 percent higher than in Utah last year.