It's been a busy morning for Utah Highway Patrol troopers as they received 188 calls of motor vehicle accidents between midnight and 12:30 p.m. as the snowstorm rolled in overnight Sunday. That's about one crash every five minutes.
"A lot of our crashes were on I-215 South and then I-215 West. Later in the day, we had a big influx of crashes up north in the area of 600 North and 2100 South," said Sgt. Jalaine Hawkes with Utah Highway Patrol.
She also emphasized how beneficial it is to prepare your car for winter driving conditions.
"A lot of people had bad tires. On I-215 South around Knudsen's corner at 6200 South, people were going up to the ski resorts and I lost count of how many vehicles were trying to get up there with bad tires. If you got stuck there, there's no way you'd make it up to the ski resorts," said Sgt. Hawkes.
UHP said with these numbers, drivers need to slow down, increase following distance and give themselves plenty of time to get where they need to go. Also, if they see emergency vehicles on the road (police, fire, ambulance, emergency management trucks, tow trucks), troopers said drivers need to slow down and move over if they can.
If drivers are involved in a crash, UHP asks everyone to move to the next exit on the freeway if there are no injuries and all cars involved are drive-able. The best place to move would be a gas station, parking lot, or somewhere safe off the freeway. This keeps everyone out of harm's way and keeps traffic moving.
"We don't want people out of their vehicles, we don't want you walking around looking at the damage. You need to stay in your car with the seat belt on," said Sgt. Hawkes. “On days like today, it is not unheard of that vehicles get crashed into after they’ve already crashed once and so we don’t want people out of their vehicles. We don’t want you walking around, looking at the damage."
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