How to avoid getting iced on the road this winter

Brace yourselves; winter driving is coming. As if Utah drivers don’t already have a horrible driving reputation, let’s throw that slippery, cold mess of snow into the mix. If you’ve ever driven in Utah during the winter months—which, let’s be honest, can range anywhere from October to April and sometimes even longer in the Beehive State—you’ll know that the majority of Utah winter drivers fall into three categories: way too slow, way too fast, and the few and far between—experienced snow drivers.

The last group most likely includes those that: A) Have driven in Utah for multiple consecutive winters, and who also choose to actually pay attention to the effect snow has on the roads, B) Own a 4-wheel drive utility vehicle with snow tires and chains, or C) Drive a Zamboni on a regular basis.

The other two groups unfortunately contain the majority of the population. The way too slow group consists of those people that insist upon driving 25mph on I-15 after a single snowflake falls. These are the people you get stuck behind on the days you’re running late for something important, the individuals you curse in your car and yell “Get off the road, grandma!” as you finally find a way to not-so-politely pass them.

The way too fast group of drivers includes your run-of-the-mill 2 Fast, 2 Furious wannabe’s. These are the jerks that cut you off and end up sliding off the road eventually anyway. The truth is, the roads are way too unpredictable to be driving like a maniac during a snow storm, but these individuals are above the laws of both land and apparently physics.

All kidding aside, driving in Utah during the winter is a dangerous activity. According to UDOT traffic report, there were 22,803 accidents during the winter months last year alone. While it would be ideal for everyone to simply not drive during any snow storm, that’s not a realistic solution to the problem. All people have a responsibility to maintain the safety of their own self as well as the other people driving around them. It’s irresponsible and selfish to drive dangerously. Driving in the snow is scary enough, so everyone should make it less terrifying by doing their best to fall into the “experienced snow driver” category.

Get an inspection done to make sure your car will be good to go all season long to prevent you getting stranded in the middle of one of Utah’s infamous snowstorms. However, accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared. Keeping a supply of blankets and water in your car at all times is necessary during this season. Drive according to the road’s conditions and practice safe driving habits in order to keep crash rates down when the roads are slippery. Maintaining a safe distance away from other cars to have sufficient breaking time helps lower the risk of sliding into someone.

Most people know the appropriate way to drive in the winter. Accidents happen when people fall into the “way too slow” and “way too fast” driving categories. By maintaining safe speed, winterizing your car, and paying attention to your surroundings, winter driving can become a normal routine for everyone in Utah.

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