Winter road conditions in Utah can be hazardous. Every winter it snows in Utah, and yet every winter Utah drivers seem to be caught off guard by the snow. According to Utahaccidentbooks.com the heavy snow storm that occurred the beginning of December, 2013 caused 304 car accidents on the Wasatch front. Utah Highway Patrol reported a total of 167 car accidents in Salt Lake County with 20 injuries, 75 car accidents in Utah County with seven injuries, and 62 car accidents in Davis County.
During a snow storm, it is best to just stay home rather than try to drive in it, but if you have to drive it is important to be especially careful even if you have an all wheel drive vehicle and snow tires. The cars around you might not have the same capabilities so if you cut someone off that doesn’t have snow tires, chances are they’re going to rear end you before their brakes can stop their car in the snow. This is why it is important to drive slowly and allow for more space in between cars. Normally there should be at least one car length in between you and the car in front of you, but when it is snowing, or the roads are slick, there should be at least three car lengths distance between you and the car in front of you to allow yourself plenty of room to stop.
During winter storms, or when road conditions are snowy and icy, always give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. The Utah Department of Transportation provides state-wide, year round, road condition reports you can either call 511 for this information, or go online to check conditions before you leave. Their traffic website is maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week and they continually monitor statewide traffic and weather conditions and post the information on their website: www.udot.utah.gov/traffic. This allows you to see what type of delays there are and what the road conditions are like so you know exactly how much time to allow yourself to get to your destination. They also have a UDOT traffic smartphone app as well.
No one likes to drive in the snow, and no one wants to be in a car accident. Using public transportation it a good alternative to having to drive in the snow, but if you absolutely must drive, be smart about it. Knowing what the conditions and delays are like before you leave is a good way to help you plan enough time to get to where you need to be.