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Winter weather makes for messy morning commute

Posted at 5:52 PM, Dec 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-12 19:54:17-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – Accidents continued throughout the day Wednesday as Utahns were greeted by a slow, snowy and at some spots dangerous roads.

It was a noisy day at the Utah Department of Transportation’s Traffic Operations Center Wednesday, as a police radio can be heard sounding off on the different accidents and snow incidents occurring on state roads.

“Dozens of crashes,” said John Gleason with the Utah Department of Transportation.

Radio alert after alert, as the snow came in the roads got worse.

“It was dumping a lot of snow in a short amount of time,” Gleason said. “Fender benders, slide offs."

Utah resident Linda Gardner-Smith called it "very scary."

In just five hours Utah Highway Patrol responded to 98 accidents in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, alongside an additional 35 crashes in Davis County.

“A lot of people were on the road and this one [storm] did pack a pretty big punch,” Gleason said.

UDOT said some drivers may have had some early season driving jitters.

“It’s been almost a full season since any of us have driven in the snow,” Gleason said.

But some Utahns said it wasn’t the snow that had them gripping the steering wheel.

“It’s the drivers,” Gardner-Smith said. “People that have four wheels drives, think they can go anyplace do anything and they are invincible and they’re not.”

Utah resident Roberto Deni observed a similar phenomenon, where he said people didn't care to slow don.

“When it started to snow everyone was nervous because there was a lot of accidents,” Deni said. “Everyone continued to drive fast.”

UDOT’s best advice? “Just slow down.”

Even if you think it will never happen to you.

“I think we think it’s going to happen to somebody else,” Gleason said. “But unfortunately if we’re going too fast for the conditions, and even if you have four wheel drive, even if you have proper snow tires, you have to slow down because none of us are immune to it."

And these roads? Well, maybe they’re just the price we pay, to have the greatest snow on earth.

“I love Utah,” Deni said.