UDOT Urges Drivers to Be Prepared for Winter Weather
With the first valley snow of the season scheduled to fall this week, UDOT held its annual Snow Show to demonstrate the department’s snow removal preparations and remind drivers to do their part.
This year, UDOT is urging drivers to make sure their vehicles have chains or snow tires when driving up Utah’s canyons. Chains or M/S-rated tires are required if planning travel through many of Utah’s canyons or mountain passes. For more information, visit udot.utah.gov/go/chainup.
“If you’re driving up the canyon and see an overhead sign that says, ‘chains required,’ pay attention,” said Jeff Reynolds, supervisor of UDOT’s Incident Management Team. “It’s not optional. Don’t risk it. Unfortunately, every year we see people take their chances and get in a crash, which often blocks the canyon for hours. Make sure you have the right equipment before you hit the road.”
Other driver safety tips include:
- Slow down.
- Do not pass a snow plow, and stay back at least 200 feet.
- Allow extra distance between your car and the one in front of you.
- Keep your windshield, windows and lights clear of snow and ice.
- Check your tires for proper pressure and sufficient tread.
- Check your lights and windshield wiper blades to make sure they work properly.
- Prepare an emergency kit that includes blanket(s), a flashlight, a first aid kit, jumper cables, bottled water, and granola/energy bars.
More than 500 full-time snow plow drivers will be working to keep Utah’s 6,000 miles of state highways and 980 miles of interstate clear of snow and ice this winter. “Our team is ready for whatever the winter brings,” said Jake Brown, Roadway Operations Manager for Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon. “We’ve been preparing for this first storm for weeks now and are anxious to get to work. Our goal is to keep the roads clear so you can safely get to where you’re going.”
UDOT Snow Removal, By The Numbers:
- UDOT’s fleet includes 533 snow plow trucks, 7 self-propelled snowblowers, and 13 TowPlows.
- 2.5 million gallons of salt brine, enough to cover a football field nearly 8 feet deep, are applied to the roads annually to prevent icing.
- 220,000 tons of salt are applied every year to melt ice and snow.
- 20,000 tons of grit and volcanic cinders are applied to provide extra traction for drivers.
- $24 million is budgeted for snow removal budget every year, which averages to about $1 million per winter storm.