BIG COTTONWOOD CANYON (ABC4 Utah) Before the first major snowstorm of the season, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) warns drivers to prepare for treacherous winter driving.
“It was very, very scary,” Brittany Kidd said.
Two weeks ago, Kidd had just finished a snowy shift for UDOT, when a passenger car lost control, fish-tailed and went directly in front of her work truck.
“They were coming and I knew I was going to hit them, I just braced,” said Kidd.
While chains were mandatory, the cars tires were so bald, it started sliding backward. The people inside jumped out just before the car plunged 250 feet into a creek.
They were okay, but Kidd continues to recover from her injuries.
“Absolutely, it could have been prevented. We have chain laws. That sign over there, if those are flashing, that is a law,” Kidd said.
“If that law is in effect, that means you do need chains,” UDOT Roadway Operations Manager Jake Brown said.
Brown said the crash is a perfect example why drivers need to be ready for winter driving.
“I see people who’ve lost control of their vehicle and gone clear off the road. I’ve seen people do several 360s,” Brown said.
Before the snow sticks for good, he said now is the time to check wiper blades and replace tires if needed.
“Buying new tires is a lot cheaper than buying a whole new car,” Brown said.
The penalty for not having snow tires or chains in the canyons during severe winter weather is a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail.
More winter driving tips can be found at utahwinterdriving.org. http://utahwinterdriving.org/tips.html