Driving in Winter Weather

By Samuel Sherrill

Whether you are a beginning driver or an experienced one, poor weather conditions can put your nerves and skills to test on the road.

Utah drivers are frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions such as snowstorms, slush and ice. Some argue that such exposure makes Utah drivers more experienced when it comes to driving in winter conditions, compared to those who inhabit different states.

Knowing how to drive safely in harsh weather conditions stems from actively participating in safety precautions while driving on the road. What some people don’t know, however, is that safe winter driving begins before you even get into your vehicle.

Participating in measures such as getting regular vehicle maintenance, removing ice and snow from your vehicle, and keeping your gas tank at least half full are all tips that weather experts encourage. Such safety tips don’t require any knowledge of on-the-road experience. A driver in Florida will be just as capable in completing these tasks as a Utah driver.

When it comes to actual safety while driving on the road, one of the biggest secrets to driving in the snow or ice is to just slow down. Those who have had to commute on snowy roads have probably noticed at least one accident from a driver who was simply in too big of a hurry to get to their destination.   

Trooper Lewis, a state trooper from Colorado, shares his opinion on drivers in the snow.

“When you get cold weather and snow, you get a combination of bad roadways. And when you get bad roadways covered in snow and ice, you get something that we like to call bad drivers.”

Those who have experience driving in the snow like Utah drivers may have more knowledge of how much distance to keep between them and the car in front of them, how to make smooth careful movements and how to accelerate and decelerate slowly.

Those not familiar with driving in the snow need to stay focused, alert and aware while on the road. Actions by other vehicles may alert the inexperienced to problems more quickly or give more time to react safely.

By Alyssa Brunson