Utah Highway Patrol urges drivers to use extra care when on the side of the highway

Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 23:43:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY -  Sirens, lights and backed up traffic are sights everyone has seen all too often, even with the Utah Highway Patrol giving the public frequent safety tips.

"Wear your seat belt. Don't drink and drive. Slow down. Tie in your loads in the back of your vehicles," said Lt. Jeff Nigbur of UHP.

But, unfortunately, those tips are not always enough.

"This weekend we started the hundred deadliest days of summer, which obviously we're very concerned about and why we put out extra patrols," Nigbur said.

Recent fatalities are not only attributed to a lack of seat belts, but also a lack of roadside safety.

“First and foremost get your vehicle off the freeway," Nigbur said. "Um, if you have a flat tire, people think that they're down and out and they cant move, that's not true. You can drive on that tire to an off ramp, right? And then change it on the off ramp or on one of the side streets, that would be much, much safer."

However, sometimes driving off at the nearest exit just isn't possible.

While phoning a friend or waiting for AAA might come to mind, the Utah Department Of Transportation wants you to know you have another option.

"We can help with jumpstarts, we can help with out of fuel," said Shane Cowdell, a roadway safety specialist. "We can help with flat tires.  Sometimes we can help with towing the vehicle off of the interstate completely to a safer location."

These incident management team vehicles dispatched by UHP are faster, safer, and: "It's absolutely free," said Shane Cowdell.

The incident management team said its best to wait in your car with your seat belt and flashers on until they're able to pull up behind you and help safely protect the lane or area you're in.

Two brothers were killed on SR-201 Wednesday when they were struck by another vehicle after they had pulled over to change a tire. 

UHP wants to remind the public that they do have a lot of these trucks.  If you are stuck on the side of the road at any point, don't hesitate to call them.