TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A new study using data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows one of the deadliest stretches of I-80 to travel on for the Thanksgiving Holiday is right here in Utah.
Pulling data from 2015 to 2018, the study shows three fatalities along I-80 in Tooele County happened during the Thanksgiving travel season.
The most dangerous section of the interstate is Contra Costa County in California with four fatalities in that same time frame.
Sgt. Nick Street with Utah Highway Patrol said with snowstorms Monday and one on the way, he is very concerned about how fast drivers are going in the conditions.
“The speed limit, if you were to ask any of our troopers, would have been 20 mph and everyone still wanted to go 70,” Street said.
Flying by other drivers then slipping on black ice, Street said, leads to vehicles rolling over. Sometimes drivers try to over-correct as they’re sliding off the road, making things worse.
“Your odds at that speed when you leave the roadway are pretty slim at that point,” Street said. “Even with your seat belt on, you’re not looking good.”
If you don’t feel comfortable driving in the conditions or don’t have good tires, Street said to plan on staying home for Thanksgiving to be safe.
“Sometimes overconfidence is a bad thing,” he said. “Make sure that you are compensating for your driving ability by going the speed appropriate for your driving ability, and then minus another 5 mph off of that and you’ll make me more comfortable too.”