UHP pleads for drivers to slow down in wake of 266 crashes over 24 hours

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ST. GEORGE The Utah Highway Patrol is urging motorists to slow down while driving in winter conditions following a reported 266 crashes across the state Thursday.

The UHP posted the crash total over Twitter with the plea to slow down.

“We’ll say it again…please slow down and increase your following distance! It is imperative to do so, especially in winter driving conditions,” the UHP posted.

Part of Thursday’s wintry roadway mayhem included a 16-car pile up on state Route 201 in northern Utah. The UHP reported that the drivers were going too fast and following too close behind other vehicles.

It’s simple folks, SLOW DOWN and increase your following distance on wet, slick, snow-packed, and icy roadways!” the UHP stated in another Twitter post.

Motorists are also once more reminded to slow down and move over when passing emergency vehicles.

Draper City Fire battalion chief Bart Vawdrey, who was a part of a response to a vehicle accident, was hit by a passing vehicle that was going too fast for conditions and lost control. The impact pinned him between the two cars.

He was flown to an area hospital in critical condition but does not have any severe injuries and is recovering, according to a report.

While drivers in Washington County’s lower elevations may not have to deal with icy and slick roads as often as the rest of the state during winter, caution is still advised.

Tips for winter driving

  • Take it slow. Drive well below posted speed limits and leave plenty of space between cars.
  • Approach intersections, off-ramps, bridges and shaded areas slowly. These areas are hot spots for black ice.
  • Slow down in cases of limited visibility and be alert.
  • Whether someone drives an elevated SUV or a ground-kissing Toyota Prius, again, UDOT says to take it slow. Just because a truck has 4-wheel drive doesn’t change how it handles on the road, especially when traction goes out the window. Mother Nature is no respecter of automotive diversity.
  • Keep the vehicle’s speed down. The faster the car goes, the longer it takes to stop. Be slow on the accelerator or risk having the car skid when the next stop sign appears.
  • Do not use the car’s cruise control while ice and snow still abound.

Additional information on winter driving can be found at the UDOT website, as well as UDOT’s Commuterlink or current road and weather conditions, or dial 511.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • georgie December 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    What does it mean to slow down and keep distance?….We’re in the Washington County speedway mode at all times!

  • utahdiablo December 29, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    The Knuckleheads driving all along Utah’s I-15 have no idea how to drive safely nowadays and the powers to be at Udot as just as much to blame with increasing the freeway speeds to 80 mph…you want to save lives? Invest in digital signage all the along the highways so that the speed limit can be adjusted to weather conditions…the tech is already out there to do just that, but Utah will not until many more has to lose their lives…until then, add more UHP onto the roadways and pull these damn people over

  • KR567 December 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Its standard practice here to go faster during unfavorable weather conditions

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