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Snowy roads lead to dangerous conditions in Utah

Snowy conditions Utah roads
Posted at 6:16 PM, Nov 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-08 20:16:26-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol is asking drivers to take a few extra steps to ensure they're safe when they hit the road.

Some parts of northern Utah saw upwards of six inches of snow Sunday morning.

"One of the big things is to increase your following distance," said Trooper Quincey Brewer. "A good rule of thumb is when the snow falls to increase that from two seconds maybe to six or seven seconds, maybe even more if you need to."

Brewer added that rear-ending is one of the most common accidents the UHP sees during the winter.

"It'll happen in the blink of an eye," he said. "Especially in the snow."

With Sunday's snowstorm, UDOT's snow plows were busy clearing roads in higher elevations to keep things safe.

"Parley's Canyon, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, Provo Canyon is getting a lot of snow," said UDOT spokesman John Gleason. "So, those higher elevations, our snow plow crews are pretty busy."

Gleason said UDOT has been preparing their fleet for the last month or so, transitioning their trucks from summer work trucks to winter ready snow plows.

"We've been fitting the trucks with plows again, and we're all ready to go," he said. "The salt is in and all of the materials are ready."

Although UDOT's trucks are ready for the snow, Utah drivers may not be. So, both UHP and UDOT said it's best to start preparing now.

"It really is going to be an adjustment for people that are used to traveling on dry roads," Gleason said. "It's a great opportunity for all of us to get reacclimated with driving in these winter conditions."

Both organizations added that drivers need to make sure their car is prepped for the winter season, and everything is in working order before they plan to hit the roads.

"Make sure you have snow tires on," Brewer said. "Check those every year."

"Make sure that you have proper windshield wipers," Gleason added. "[And] that your car is equipped to drive in icy and snowy conditions."