UHP urges drivers to use caution after wet weather contributes to crashes

Posted at 9:20 PM, Apr 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 23:20:18-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY -- The downpour that moved in over parts of Utah Saturday created hazardous driving conditions.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers have been slammed, rushing from crash to crash, which in turn created traffic jams in some areas.

UHP said they got called to 11 crashes in Salt Lake County Saturday afternoon, and two more occurred as they were speaking with FOX 13.

One crash involved a semi-trailer that rolled over and landed on its side on I-15 near Spanish Fork after the driver swerved to miss a vehicle that hydroplaned in front of the semi.

The overturned truck blocked the freeway for several hours Saturday evening.

No serious injuries have been reported in connection with the crashes, and police say many of them came down to lead-footed drivers who didn’t slow down for the weather.

With puddles of standing water and high speeds in play, hydroplaning cars and slide-offs become an issue.

"You lose control of your vehicle, you may slide off the road, hit the dirt embankment, concrete barrier, there's all kinds of obstacles out there we've seen people hit,” said Sgt. Tom Schneiter of UHP. “A large number of crashes today were actually single vehicle collisions. So, for no reason other than weather related conditions, they lost control, slid off the road, and now we're stuck."

The speed limit signs don't mean much when it's pouring like this, UHP says. They urge drivers to slow down and maintain extra following distance. They also recommend taking extra care when changing lanes.

Utah Department of Transportation was also warning drivers of standing water through their traffic advisory signs.

Click here to visit FOX 13 News’ weather center for the latest forecast and our interactive maps and radar.