Officials Urge Travel Readiness As Storms Hit Utah Ahead Of Holidays
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A series of storms will hit Utah throughout the week of Thanksgiving and officials are reminding drivers to prepare for wintry conditions and check their tires.
The state of Utah eliminated safety inspections in January 2018, which means nobody is checking the treads on the tires — unless drivers do it themselves.
Keith Brown, shop manager at Tire World, said Utahns have been waiting even longer to get new tires since the state’s change, saying that it’s a matter of economics for many families.
“We’ve got budgets,” Brown said. “Feed your kids, or fix your car — which one goes first?”
Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol responded to over 200 crashes Monday and tweeted that it was not a day to risk driving on bald tires.
Brown said Monday’s storm brought a blizzard of people to tire shops statewide.
“The best thing that we can hope for is that people understand that they waited like everybody else,” he said. “It’s going to be crazy, and people need to be patient.”
The storms will continue throughout the week, with a second punch of wintry weather likely affecting travel plans Wednesday afternoon and evening.
“It’s delivering a pretty big punch so far,” said Utah Department of Transportation spokesperson John Gleason. “We’re talking about a series of storms. I think by the end of the week people are going to think of this as one long continuous event.”
In addition to checking your tire treads, officials said to check your battery, lights and signals; know where your window scraper is and pack a winter emergency kit.
Gleason said those looking to travel out-of-state should avoid leaving Wednesday afternoon and evening, if possible.
“We’re expecting another winter storm to move in,” he said. “That is not the ideal time because that’s when everybody is going to be out on the road not only for the evening commute, but a lot of people are just getting off of work and hitting the road to get to where they want to go.”
UDOT crews are expecting delays of up to a half an hour before factoring in storm delays.
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