Troopers ask motorists to drive cautiously during winter storms

Utah Highway Patrol troopers responding to a vehicle pileup in Sardine Canyon, Feb. 2017.

LOGAN — With snow, ice and winter weather back in the forecast, the Utah Highway patrol is asking drivers to slow down and move over for vehicles on the shoulder. The reminder came a day after Sardine Canyon was partially closed due to a three vehicle pileup.

Ice and snow can cause roads to be slick, which means troopers and other emergency responders will likely be handling accidents.

The highway patrol reports that every winter, troopers and their vehicles are hit when they’re helping others with crashes.

They advise drivers to remember three safety tips:

  • Slow down, so you are traveling under the speed limit, since it’s snowy and icy. It will allow more time to respond to changing conditions on the road.
  • Don’t brake suddenly. Slamming the brakes as you approach a crash can cause a vehicle to slide into the other vehicles.
  • Look where you want to go and not at the vehicles on the shoulder. Keeping focus on the road ahead can prevent motorists from becoming part of the crash site.

Troopers also caution motorists that icy road crashes often happen in multiples – if one car slid and crashed, it’s likely others will, too.

Wednesday morning, traffic through Sardine Canyon, US-89/91, was partially blocked after two accidents. A northbound semi-truck jack-knifed near the Big Curve, just before 6 a.m. and a second semi-truck stopped to help. Moments later, a third northbound vehicle slid into one of the trucks, blocking both lanes for almost an hour.

Troopers advice drivers that if they are involved in a crash and their vehicle can be moved, they should drive off the roadway to where they are away from traffic.

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