Cars lined up on road covered with snow.

Utah Winter Driving Safety Tips

Winter is in full swing across Utah. In many regions of the state, you can expect to see snow and ice on the roads and highways. Without care and a little preparation, it can be dangerous to drive in wintry conditions.

At Pearson Butler, one of Utah’s most trusted injury law firms, we want everyone in our communities across the state to drive safely this and every season. Please review these safety tips and topics to reduce the risk of a car accident when traveling during a Utah winter.

Where Do Winter Car Accidents Happen in Utah?

During the winter when the roads can be snowy or icy, car accidents can happen anywhere people are speeding or unprepared for the slick roads. However, the risk of collisions tends to be higher at busy intersections in cities, especially where there are road inclines and declines. Please use heightened caution whenever approaching a city intersection while driving through Utah in the winter.

Many winter car accidents also happen on Utah’s main highways, such as:

  • I-80 through Salt Lake City
  • I-15 through Provo
  • I-84 between Tremonton and the Idaho border
  • I-70 near Green River and Thompson Springs
  • Route 50 between I-15 and I-70
  • Route 189 between I-15 and I-80

Safety Tips for Driving Through a Utah Winter

You might be able to stay safer this winter by avoiding some of the Utah routes and highways mentioned above. However, you might not have a choice but to use those routes if you are traveling across the state for the holidays or a vacation. In that case, it is important to know safe winter driving tips that you can use in Utah or anywhere else where the roads get icy or snowy.

To prepare your car for winter driving, you can:

  • Test your battery before a long drive because cold temperatures can sap battery power.
  • Check tire tread depths and upgrade to winter tires if possible.
  • Adjust tire pressure as needed because cold temperatures can drop tire pressure.
  • Replace wiper blades and wiper fluid for items rated for cold weather.
  • Fill up the gas tank often to stop it from dropping below half-full, which can cause a gas line to freeze.
  • Warm up your car before driving but never leave a car running in a garage or enclosed space.

When driving on icy or snowy roads, you can help prevent a crash by:

  • Not using cruise control, which can increase the risk of the brakes locking up.
  • Accelerate and decelerate gradually and slowly to avoid skidding.
  • Follow other vehicles at a distance of at least 8 seconds, instead of 3-to-5 seconds.
  • Do not stop when going uphill unless necessary, such as at a stop light.
  • Steer in the direction of the skid if you do start skidding, which can help the wheels regain traction and allow you to control the vehicle again.
  • Find a safe space to leave the road like a lit parking lot and wait until conditions approve if visibility is dramatically reduced due to snowfall.

(For more information about safe driving in winter conditions, you can click here to visit the official National Safety Council website.)

Call a Local Attorney After a Winter Wreck

If you get into a winter wreck anywhere in Utah, make sure that you bring your case to a team of locals who know the area. At Pearson Butler, we accept car accident claims throughout Utah but are considered locals due to our familiarity, experience, and genuine compassion. Rather than taking your case to an impersonal corporate law firm that only wants to make a dollar, bring it to a small firm with big firm resources like ours.

Call (800) 265-2314 if you want to discuss a Utah winter driving accident claim during a free, no-obligation consultation.