Driving in West Valley City — It’s a Risk
Anything involving movement and speed can be dangerous. Add in 2,871 pounds of metal on wheels and any distraction possible, and you see why accidents occur in West Valley City, Utah.
Drivers in West Valley City, where the population is 135,546, come from various backgrounds and have differing ideas of how to drive, and this can increase the danger. Although some car accidents are inevitable, you can take steps to minimize the risk to yourself and your vehicle.
Don’t Be a Distracted Driver
EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) reported that “10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected.” Although that percentage doesn’t seem large, to the 3,477 people killed in those accidents, it meant their life. Accidents that occur from distracted driving in West Valley City, Utah, don’t need to happen! Phone calls and texts can wait!
But cell phones are not the only distraction; changing radio stations or music, or even having other passengers in the car can be distractions. While driving in West Valley City or anywhere else in Utah, your eyes should always be on the road. Always being aware of your surroundings while driving helps prevent you from causing an accident.
Wear Your Seat Belt
Seat belts save lives. Make it a habit to buckle your seat belt before you start your car. The seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between injuries being only minor or fatal.
Further, as the driver, you have the responsibility to make sure the passengers in your vehicle are also wearing seat belts. Ensure that children are in the proper restraints for their age and size. At times, it can be hard to get children to stay in their booster and car seats, but there is no better way to protect a child while driving around West Valley City or anywhere your travels take you.
Do Not Drive Under the Influence
Accidents involving people who are driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol happen in West Valley City and all around Utah every day. Don’t become one of those statistics. Plan ahead. Assign someone to be a designated driver beforehand so there is never a question of who will drive.
Make Sure Your Car Is in Good Repair
Winters in Utah, especially in West Valley City, can be tough. With the lake-effect snow and smog, driving conditions are usually less than ideal. This is one reason it is imperative that you don’t drive on bald tires. Bald tires make it especially hard to stop and/or navigate turns when the roads are covered in snow and ice. Winter tires and chains (where appropriate) can improve the traction you have on the road.
Also, it is never safe to pull onto the shoulder of the road. According to Utah Highway Safety, in January and February 2013, 16 Utah Highway Patrol cars were hit while they were on the side of the road. Don’t make your car a target by stopping on the shoulder.
Busy roads in West Valley City are particularly dangerous. Always make sure your car is in good repair and that you have enough gas and oil to complete the trip you have started to help reduce the likelihood that you will need to pull onto the shoulder of a road.
Don’t Be an Impatient Driver
Utah — and West Valley City in particular — has its share of impatient drivers. Speeding, not using your blinker and cutting other drivers off are some hallmarks of impatient drivers. Driving this way is not only dangerous for you, it also has the potential to cause accidents that are injurious and costly. One researcher showed that for a 15-mile commute, if you drive 65 mph instead of 55 mph, you will only arrive at your destination two and a half minutes earlier.
Have Adequate Insurance Coverage
Although no one plans to be in an accident, they still happen, and that is why by law, you must carry car insurance. Utah requires that you have $25,000 per person and $65,000 per accident bodily injury liability, and $3,000 personal injury protection. Consider carrying more insurance if your vehicle is worth more or if you are driving in highly congested areas such as West Valley City.
Driving a vehicle always involves risk. However, you can significantly reduce the risk by not being a distracted driver, wearing your seat belt, never driving under the influence, making sure your car runs properly, not being an impatient driver and having adequate insurance coverage. Do your part to make West Valley City roads safe!