UHP urges drivers and passengers to buckle up for holiday travel


SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Highway Patrol is asking everyone driving this week to remember to buckle up.

AAA reported 43.5 million people will be driving to holiday destinations this week, and each vehicle will travel an average of 50 miles.

The good news, according to UHP, is that 87 percent of Utahns are already in the habit of using seat belts. Trooper Lawrence Hopper said it’s the other 13 percent he worries about.

“We hear that a lot.  'It's a personal choice, it doesn't affect anybody.' But, if you think about it, if they were to be ejected and killed in a crash, they got family, they got friends. It does affect other people, not just them,” said Trooper Hopper.  “It affects us.  When we have to roll up in a scene like that, the things that we see are pretty horrific. I remember those scenes.”

Hopper said to always be looking four or five seconds ahead while you are driving and slow down in those rougher conditions, like wet roads in the valley and mountain snow in upper elevations.