Number of UHP vehicles involved in accidents already exceeds last year’s total

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — More Utah Highway Patrol cars have been hit since the beginning of the year than in the entirety of 2012, and the UHP is asking people to drive cautiously in winter weather conditions.

A trooper’s car was hit Sunday morning while he was stopped to help a vehicle that slid off the road. This is the thirteenth UHP vehicle to be hit this year—compared to a total of 12 such incidents in 2012.

Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jason Whitehead described the accident his car was involved in on Sunday morning.

“I didn’t even see it coming,” he said. “Next thing I know I was wondering what happened, making sure everything was moving, and I hopped out and checked on the lady that hit me and the other car, and everyone was for the most part OK.”

Many other accidents have been caused by the recent winter storm. In Davis and Salt Lake counties combined there were more than 80 accidents, which resulted in at least $1,500 in damages. There were 46 slide-offs in Salt Lake County alone. There were 19 accidents and 14 slide-offs in Utah County.

UHP officials said people should adjust their driving habits for poor road conditions. They said posted speed limits only apply to clear, dry roadways. They suggested speeds of 30 mph or less in snowy or icy conditions.