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WATCH OUT FOR SUNDAY DRIVERS IN UTAH

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The odds of motorists getting into their cars at point A and making it to point B alive in Utah were best in 1992 when driving on Tuesdays and in February.

Conversely, statistics compiled by the state for 1992 show the most traffic fatalities occurred on Sundays and in August.Other extremes: Male drivers between the ages of 18 and 21 were involved in the most fatal crashes, while no female drivers ages 63 to 66 were killed. Overall, fewer women drivers died in crashes than men in all age groups, except for drivers older than 75.

Some 269 people lost their lives on Utah roads during 1992, below the five-year average of 304. Alcohol-related traffic deaths decreased in 1992 with 69 fatalities. That compares to 76 fatalities in 1991, 60 in 1990 and 82 in 1989.

Twenty-five percent of Utah's highway deaths involved alcohol, which is half the national average.

For decades, the Utah Highway Safety Office and the Department of Transportation have compiled data from across Utah to create a statewide picture of traffic safety.

The form that officers use to document traffic accidents is uniform throughout Utah, and each agency is required to send copies of its accident reports to the state, said Marilee Gomez, fatality analyst with the highway safety office.

The annual report generated from the compilation tallies the outcome of 50,660 total accidents during the year. And the information is widely circulated. "We get a lot of requests from students, special-interest groups doing safety studies - that sort of thing," Gomez said.

A copy of the report also goes to each law enforcement agency. The report is also popular with driver-education teachers, insurance companies and other states, which use the report to build comparisons with their own state.

Public agencies use the information to gauge safety and enforcement levels and to see where improvements are needed.

In reporting 52 pedestrians were hit and killed by vehicles, for example, the report promises additional efforts will be made to promote safe walking. The report points out that jaywalking was the most common circumstance in pedestrian fatalities.

With only minor exceptions, the total accident count, by county, corresponds with population figures. Daggett County had the fewest accidents and the smallest population - 690 residents, according to 1990 figures.

Salt Lake County, on the other hand, had the most accidents of any county in the state but also has the the largest population - 725,956, according to the same 1990 population count.

Sixteen motorcycle drivers, all of them male, were killed. Of those, only four were wearing helmets and only six had valid motorcycle licenses.

Seat belts were not used by 198 of the 269 people killed in automobile crashes, including eight of the 10 children younger than 4 years who were killed.

Air bags are only found in a fraction of the cars on the road, but none of the fatalities during 1992 involved cars equipped with air bags.