Utah drivers urged to use caution this winter

<p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Snow arrived with a vengeance in Utah last month, and although the next few weeks look to be a little warmer, experts are still advising drivers to be prepared for the cold months ahead.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Crews from the Utah Highway Patrol were called to</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://fox13now.com/2014/11/13/snow-putting-drivers-in-slippery-situation-in-ogden/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>over 80 crashes across three counties</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>during the snowstorm that hit Utah on Nov. 12. Weber County reported 34 accidents including 10 slide-offs, Davis County reported 16, and Box Elder reported 35 crashes, one fatal.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>To put that into perspective,</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://cantorburger.com/determining-statute-limitations-car-accident-lawsuit/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>2.09 million vehicle occupants were injured in crashes in 2012,</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>and 21,667 lost their lives. The 80 accidents in Utah happened in a single day.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/utah-drivers-preparing-for-winter-snow-storm/26526/2M3Gitqkq0OUsrDaIndFIA”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>A fleet of 500 plows was dispatched</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>to keep roads clear as the snow began to fall last month. “Our drivers are prepared, they know what routes they’re assigned to, we stockpile a lot of sand and grit,” Nathan Peterson from the Utah Department of Transportation told a local ABC affiliate.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>UDOT Chief of Operations Jason Davis shared some of his tips for the winter with the</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.sltrib.com/home/1816905-155/udot-davis-snow-drivers-salt-ice”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Salt Lake City Tribune</span><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>.</span></a></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>”We’re ready for winter, and it’s here,” he said. “Drivers need to shift gears now, too, and that means being prepared.”</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>According to Davis, drivers can prepare by topping off washer fluid and checking wiper blades to make sure they can hold up to winter. Drivers should also make sure their windows are completely free of ice before driving, even if they have to wait a little longer for ice to thaw.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Cars should also be equipped with an ice scraper, a tow strap, a flash light with extra batteries, tire chains and jumper cables. Blankets, water and emergency food might also come in handy if drivers are stranded on roads, like dozens were during the historic snowstorm last month in Buffalo, NY. Stranded drivers should stay in their cars, since pedestrian fatalities increase during snowstorms.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>UDOT tow plow driver told Kuer.org that drivers should also excercise caution around the many plows the department is dispatching to keep the roads clear.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“I’ve had people come up on the left of me and try to cut across or get behind me and try to go around on the right and there’s a big wreck,” he said.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.15; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>December and January are likely to bring more snow, so drivers are encouraged to prepare now before the snow hits.</span></p>

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!