Driving on Snowy Roads in Salt Lake City
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Winter’s Challenges on Snowy Roads
Winter driving conditions present several unique driving challenges. It is estimated that in 2021, the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office (UDPS) recorded 3,685 snow-related accidents in Salt Lake City, UT.
Nobody wants to become a statistic, and there are several things you can do to minimize your chances. For starters, you could follow our winter driving tips outlined below.
The odds of you becoming a snow accident statistic remain high despite your best efforts. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid risk altogether once you venture into snowy and icy conditions. America’s accident attorneys are here to help.
Our goal is to help you recover damages if you have been injured in any type of motor vehicle accident. Our Salt Lake City truck accident lawyers have years of experience with various types of motor vehicle accidents and are familiar with the specific peculiarities of truck accidents.
What Is the Best Way to Drive on Snowy Roads in Salt Lake City?
Some Basic Winter Driving Tips for Salt Lake City
It’s best to be prepared when driving in snowy conditions. As accidents often do happen in snowy conditions, you can’t be completely prepared, but here are some tips for driving in snowy conditions:
- Fit winter tires or all-season tires on your vehicle
- Ensure that your tires are in good condition.
- Adapt your driving for winter driving conditions and watch the weather forecast to be prepared.
- Use an all-wheel drive vehicle for better traction.
- Avoid driving in icy conditions.
- Exercise extra caution in wet conditions.
- Stick to major roads and the freeway.
- Consider fitting chains to your tires when snowfall is heavy. Chains prevent your wheels from spinning out as easily because they bite deeper into the snow and ice.
- Increase your following distance incrementally as the conditions deteriorate.
- Constantly assess road conditions.
- Slow down in snowy weather conditions and in traffic.
- Before you drive, clear the snow from your car.
- Keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get stuck.
- Clear all your windows and mirrors of snow and ice before setting off.
- Be mentally prepared to take corrective action should you lose control due to ice or snow.
- Pass other vehicles only when you have sufficient visibility and give snow plows lots of leeway.
- Familiarise yourself with special location requirements. For example, Cottonwood Canyons requires at least two snow tires even on an all-wheel drive vehicle during snowy conditions.
- Avoid driving in a severe snowstorm – waiting until it is safe is no big deal.
Driving during a bad snowstorm can be treacherous. The wisest course of action is to avoid driving entirely until driving conditions improve.
Is it Illegal to Drive With Snow on Your Car in Utah?
No, it is not. Before driving, Utah law requires drivers to clear everything from the sides and rear of their vehicles that might obstruct their view. This includes snow on their windshields.
The law is silent on clearing snow from the top of the car.
In any case, it is safer to do so, preventing a situation in which you might inadvertently dump snow on another vehicle’s windshield and cause an accident.
Is it Safe to Drive in Salt Lake City in Winter?
It depends on the conditions. Most of the time, it is safe, and the main roads are kept well-swept. When traveling during the winter, consider your surroundings, watch the weather forecast, and always be extra cautious.
One of the most important things to remember is to increase your following distance since snow and icy conditions are often slippery and limit your control.
How Snowy Are the Roads in Salt Lake City?
Compared to other Utah cities, Salt Lake City gets more snow. In winter, the weather in Salt Lake City, UT, is highly unpredictable. It snows throughout the winter. Salt Lake City receives an annual snowfall of over 500 inches. Snowfall in the US averages 28 inches a year. Salt Lake City’s snow season lasts from October to April, although it is typically coldest between November and March. Snowfall in Salt Lake City peaks in December at 12.1 inches.
So yes, UTAH has snow – lots of it!
Are Snow Tires Needed in Salt Lake City?
Salt Lake City and other Utah cities have traction laws that apply to specific weather conditions. Vehicles with two-wheel drive are treated differently from those with four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive:
Two Wheel Drive Protocols
All four tires of a vehicle that weighs less than 12,000 pounds must have the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake icon imprinted on the sidewall. Alternatively, the vehicle must have traction control devices installed or mounted on all tires. This includes devices such as chains and snow socks.
Four Wheel Drive and All Wheel Drive Protocols
These vehicles must have one of the following:
Mud and snow tires
The Three Peak Mountain Snowflake icon imprinted on the tire’s sidewall
Traction devices installed, such as chains and snow socks.
Rented 4×4 Vehicles
When renting a 4×4 vehicle, check with the rental company to ensure that the 4×4 tire protocols meet local regulations. If not, you may be fined for non-compliance.
How Many Deaths Are Caused by Snowy Roads in Salt Lake City?
Thankfully the statistics do not show a significant increase in fatalities. This is probably due to the speeds being much lower due to poor visibility and drivers taking precautions.
Can You Claim Damages for Losses Suffered in an Accident in the Snow?
Every accident is different, and each case depends on its individual facts. A car accident lawyer can assess your case and advise you on whether your claim is likely to succeed if you have suffered damages. We would love to hear from you. Give us a call today!