Messy morning commute on Utah’s icy roads create driving dangers

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UTAH (ABC4) – Mother Nature is making an early Christmas stop in Utah with much-needed precipitation across most of the state this week.

But the snow is giving Utah drivers a complicated time on the roads as they try to remember how to navigate an icy commute.

The ABC4 Pinpoint Weather Team says even as the snowfall tapers off, the slick conditions could linger a bit longer for commuters. Officials with the Utah Highway Patrol say they responded to over 75 crashes on Friday morning alone. At one point, southbound I-15 in Draper was shut down for over an hour due to a crash. It has since reopened.

Drivers we spoke to say slow and easy is how they navigated the frosty conditions.

Manuel Martinez, who works for Western Fence says, “We’ve just been driving really slow. You know with the icy roads out there, this morning wasn’t too bad, but now it is.”

However, the delays on the highway weren’t the only issue for drivers. For Jake Jensen from Cottonwood Heights, a set of snow tires could really come in handy. Jensen has a set of performance tires on his car, but as he explains to ABC4, they weren’t much help during Friday’s storm.

“I drove onto my front lawn, which my wife is going to be stoked about” says Jensen.

He says after dropping his son off at school and making a quick trip back home before heading to the office, things took a sticky turn.

“The car didn’t quite make it up the hill into our driveway,” says Jensen.

As ABC4 has previously reported, the Utah Department of Transportation says as drivers head into wintry conditions, having snow tires plays a huge role in alleviating the danger of getting stuck in a canyon or along Utah’s roads.

Jensen tells ABC4 that taking his son to school is typically a 10-minute trip, but on Friday morning it was a different story.

“I would describe my drive to take my kid to school as one constant slide down the hill,” says Jensen.

And regarding being stuck in your own driveway, while it’s better than a highway, it still makes for a stressful day. In the meantime, Jensen says, “I’m going to start digging and we’ll see how far we get.”

Along the major highways this evening, transportation officials say you’ll want to monitor conditions, especially along Davis and Salt Lake counties for possible accumulation and hazardous conditions that may have developed from today’s lake effect snow.

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