UDOT prepares for winter road conditions, and warns drivers to stay safe

SALT LAKE CITY - As the weather turns to fall, Utah has started to see worsening road conditions.

Rain and snow have been the culprit behind a number of crashes in the past several days, and kept the Utah Department of Transportation’s Incident Management Team (IMT) busy.

On Tuesday, Fox 13 rode along with IMT to see what kinds of situations they encounter.

The roads were dry, so the main concern became flat tires, drivers out of gas and debris on the roadway.

While patrolling the highway, Ben Kelly with IMT approached a car on the side of I-15.
“Got a flat tire?” he asked the driver.

Kelly headed back to his IMT truck for a jack and tools, before walking back over to help change the flat.

In five minutes, he got the driver back on his way.

Kelly’s preparing to get busier in the coming weeks, but not with flat tires.

“When it does rain or we get the snow, we definitely respond to a lot of accidents,” Kelly said.
Utah slid from summer straight into snow last weekend in some areas, leading to many slide-offs and crashes.

“It definitely gets more dangerous out there,” Kelly said.

That’s why he said drivers need to get in the winter driving mindset now.

“Make sure your car is ready for it,” he said. Drivers should make sure their car is stocked with supplies, has enough gas and good tires.

“Increase your following distance,” Kelly said, adding that drivers need to make sure they are able to stop in time on the slick roads.

If you do end up on the side of the freeway, pull over to the right side and get out of traffic, Kelly said.

“If it’s raining or snowing, you get in a crash, stay in your car,” he said. “If you crash there, somebody else is most likely going to crash there.”