Weather turns frightful, making evening commute less than delightful

SALT LAKE CITY - Don’t be fooled by the recent warm temperatures, the weather outside is about to turn frightful and staying at home would be delightful.

But if you are hitting the road over this long and possibly snowy holiday weekend, the experts have some tips and reminders to help you and your family stay safe.

Dashcam video from a Utah Highway Patrol cruiser shows what happened with a trooper stopped to untangle a weather-related crash.

A semi barreled through the scene and slid into the median, nearly hitting another trooper before he jumped out of the way.

Experts said they realize people may have forgotten winter officially arrives this week, after Utah's very warm fall.

Right on cue, most of the state will be experiencing a winter storm.

So safety officials said this is a perfect time to remind everyone about paying close attention to the wintertime rules of the road.

Between the troopers and the snowplow drivers, public safety officials are prepared and will be doing everything they can to help keep us safe.

They’re just asking for a little help on our part, to avoid preventable incidents.

Additional UHP cruisers will be out on the roads starting Friday.

Troopers will be pulling more than 100 additional shifts through Christmas Day.

UHP said when troopers aren't responding to crashes, they’ll be looking for drowsy, distracted, aggressive and impaired drivers.

They want to make sure everyone safely arrives where they are going.

The Utah Department of Transportation, Utah Department of Public Safety and Utah Highway Patrol have collected a series of winter driving tips to help you and your fellow drivers and passengers stay safe on the roads:

  • You have to slow down
  • Drive under the speed limit
  • Avoid quick stops, starts and turns
  • Increase your following distance
  • Use extra caution when changing lanes
  • Always buckle up
  • Coats can interfere with car seat fit
  • 4WD and AWD don't make you invincible
  • Watch for black ice
  • Bridges freeze first
  • The road behind an active snow plow is safer to drive on
  • If you skid, ease off the gas and turn into the skid
  • Snow left on your car can be hazardous
  • Clear snow and ice for visibility
  • Don't use cruise control
  • Watch for deer
  • Keep your gas tank close to full
  • Dress for the weather
  • Give yourself more time
  • Stay at home if you really don't need to go anywhere

Visit utahwinterdriving.org for details on all of these tips, videos and other useful information for driving in snowy conditions.