Personal Injury and Car Accident Lawyer in Utah

Wrong-way Driving & Auto Accidents in Utah in 2023

By on Apr 23, 2023 in blog, Car Accidents, Personal Injury |

Wrong-way Driving Accident

Wrong-way Driving and Auto Accidents in Utah

Before we dive into details of wrong-way driving and what it is, let’s discuss a case that recently happened in our metroplex.

As reported by Utah’s own KSLTV News, on April 20th, 2023, an Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant decided to risk his life to stop a wrong-way driver from causing a potential fatal accident.

Officer McCoy had just finished his shift, when he was driving on the highway and noticed a pickup truck speeding straight for him. In that instance, the officer decided to hit the truck with his own patrol car to stop the vehicle. In order to do so, McCoy slowed down his vehicle to roughly 15 mph before hitting the driver of the incoming truck. He also made sure to hit the pickup at an angle as opposed to head-on, to avoid potential serious injuries that tend to occur with head-on collisions. He successfully stopped the incoming vehicle without any serious injuries to himself or the other driver.

McCoys quick reactions were able to stop a potentially fatal situation. However, this is not a typical way to stop a wrong-way driving vehicle. Below we will discuss a common maneuver used by officers nationwide, known as the PIT tactic.

McCoy has been a patrol officer for more than 12 years, and we are very grateful to have him patrol our streets daily.

For more information on the crash and video footage of the accident, please visit


What is a PIT maneuver?

PIT stands for precision immobilization technique, also known as TVI or tactical vehicle intervention. What it is, is a pursuit tactic implemented by officers to force a fleeing vehicle, in this case a wrong-way driver, to take an abrupt 180 degree turn, causing the vehicle to stall and stop. Typically, it requires at least 2 patrol vehicles, which in our case McCoy did not have.

Additionally, in our case above, the wrong-way driving vehicle was moving at very high speeds on the highway, therefore, making McCoy unable to implement the PIT maneuver.

For more information on this matter, follow this link PIT Maneuver.


Statistics Regarding Wrong-way Driving

This year alone the Utah Highway Patrol has investigated eight wrong-way driving crashes that resulted in 4 fatalities. Statewide, in Utah there have been upwards of 80 wrong-way driving incidents reported in 2022. These types of auto accidents tend to be very serious and tragic, and with a high chance of fatality.

Also according to, Utah is on track for the deadliest year of wrong-way driving.

Fatal Wrong-Way Crashes on Utah Highways

  • 2018 — 6 deaths
  • 2019 — 2 deaths
  • 2020 — 9 deaths
  • 2021 — 7 deaths
  • 2022 – 8 deaths also reports the following information:

What are Common Reasons People are Involved in Wrong-way Driving Accidents?

  1. Impairment: being under the influence due to alcohol or drugs. This encompasses 90% of cases.
  2. Distracted driving: being on your phone, eating while driving, etc.
  3. Being confused: you simply don’t know you are on the wrong side


What Has Been Done to Prevent Wrong-way Driving?

  1. There have been double the amount of “do not enter” and “wrong way” signs placed with extra lights around them.
  2. More arrows and signals have been painted on roads to further clarify the correct direction of traffic flow.
  3. UHP has created a task force, specifically for wrong-way driving. One portion of their jobs is to find the hot spots that are most common for wrong-way driving accidents and attempt to prevent them prior to them happening.


What Can You Do if You Encounter a Wrong-way Driver?

  1. Try to not only focus on car right infant of you, but all vehicles far ahead of you as well. This will allow you more time to react.
  2. Keep to the right lane as much as possible. Most of these types of crashes happen in the left lane.
  3. Stay calm and try to pull over safely to get out of the way of the wrong-way driver.

For more in depth information on our topic today, please visit as they have done in-depth research and investigated every aspect of this type of accident in our metroplex.


What Can I Do if I am a Victim of a Wrong-way Driving Accident?

We, at Symco Injury Law Firm, handle these types of incidents along with many other automobile accident personal injury cases. If you are involved in a car accident, we are always here to help!

Please feel free to call or text us for more information or to have questions answered at 801-738-9999 or us reach via our website Symco Injury Law Firm. We are available 24/7.