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.
The final UHP crash tally for the 24-hour period of December 27th, 2018 is 266 crashes investigated by Troopers. We’ll say it again…please slow down and increase your following distance! It is imperative to do so, especially in winter driving conditions.
— Utah Highway Patrol (@UTHighwayPatrol) December 28, 2018
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.
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