UDOT urges safe driving as winter season approaches

Posted at 12:35 PM, Dec 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-01 14:35:49-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah Department of Transportation driver was recently injured in a crash in Big Cottonwood Canyon, and UDOT officials said the incident serves as a reminder for all drivers to exercise caution in snowy conditions.

Brittany Kidd is a canyon patrol driver for UDOT. She assists drivers whose vehicles have slid off the road in snowy conditions. On November 17, Kidd was following a UDOT snow plow down the canyon when a vehicle coming up the canyon lost control and entered her lane.

"They lost control of their vehicle because they didn't have M/S rated tires or chains. And so, because they didn't have the proper tires to be up here in the conditions, while chain law was in effect, they lost control of their vehicle and they came into my lane and I hit them head-on," Kidd said.

Kidd suffered a concussion, whiplash and neck injuries. The M/S rated tires she mentioned are built for muddy and snowy conditions. Drivers are urged to use snow tires and chains as road conditions warrant.

UDOT also recommends replacing windshield wipers and keeping plenty of windshield washer fluid in your vehicle during the winter season. Reducing your speed is also crucial in snowy conditions.

"Reduce your speed on icy roads. Rubber and ice do not mix. So, it doesn't matter if you have four-wheel drive or eight-wheel drive. You're still gonna slide on the ice," said Jake Brown, UDOT roadway manager.