SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Highway Patrol is urging drivers to be careful over the holiday weekend after highway accidents made June one of the deadliest months for motorists in almost nine years.
The agency announced this week that 36 people died in traffic-related crashes last month. That's the highest number of traffic-related deaths since August 2005, when 37 people died, Trooper Evan Kirby said Thursday.
The deadliest month on record for the Utah Highway Patrol was July 1978, when 58 fatalities were reported.
The June 2014 data is preliminary and could grow because some reports are pending, troopers said.
Kirby said officials don't know what caused the June spike, but they said many of the accidents involved driver error.
About 60 percent of the fatal crashes involved people not wearing seatbelts, he said.
Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday (http://bit.ly/1j1LsNe) that many drivers have a false sense of security when driving in the summer months.