UHP urges drivers to prepare for winter driving as storm moves in

Oct 21, 2022, 8:09 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has been spoiled with warmer weather this month, but big changes are coming this weekend — and that means changing drivers’ mindsets on the road.

For Utah Highway Patrol troopers, this cold snap signals the start of a dangerous driving season.

Winter driving

No matter how much experience you have driving in snow, rain or icy conditions, winter driving can be risky.

“We know these temperatures are coming and we know this moisture is coming and so now is the time for us to start preparing,” said Sgt. Cameron Roden, UHP’s public information officer.

Roden says to prepare your car for slippery roads.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your car battery is fully charged
    • AAA reports rescuing over 265,000 people stranded on the side of the road because of dead batteries.
  • Check your brakes
  • Make sure your vehicle is full of gas
  • Get winter tires for your car

“We need to make sure our tires are in good shape,” Roden said. “We’re not driving on bald tires. Making sure our lights, our windshield wipers are ready to go. Just making sure we have any needed supplies in the car so in case of an emergency that we’re prepared.”

Roden cannot stress enough to go nice and slow out there.

Leave early, give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going safely, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.

Roden said troopers constantly monitor weather conditions and will have extra resources on standby if needed.

Winter storm moves into Utah

KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson says an Alaskan cold front is charging into the West Coast Friday and will plunge into Utah on Saturday, bringing wind, rain and even snow to valley floors.

The cold front arrives sometime Saturday afternoon, and showers will increase as the day progresses.

The cold air filters in behind the front early Sunday morning, and most places across the Wasatch Front could see snow to the valley floor.

Johnsons said with the Great Salt Lake being so warm, the chance for lake enhancement and lake effect is very possible Sunday. Mountain snow totals will generally be 5″ to 10″ with the Cottonwood canyons pushing 12″ to 18″ for storm totals by Monday morning.

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UHP urges drivers to prepare for winter driving as storm moves in