As winter storms continue to roll through the state, thousands of travelers can expect challenging driving conditions for holiday travel. Out of the 270 crashes troopers responded to Monday, Utah Highway Patrol says dozens of them happened in Southern Utah, and with icy and slick conditions, authorities are asking drivers to avoid the roads if they can.
“If you’re a little bit late to a family function, that’s OK,” said Todd Abbott with the Utah Department of Transportation Incident Management Team. “I’d rather have people arrive late and alive than not show up at all.”
The I-15 corridor brings thousands of holiday travelers to and from Las Vegas and Southern California to Colorado, according to UDOT. Many drivers also migrate from the Wasatch Front hoping for some milder weather, but with an even bigger storm headed our way, travelers should plan for rain and snow.
“As everyone’s traveling through Southern Utah and throughout all of the state for that fact, take your time, wear your seat-belts, and don’t get in a hurry,” he added.
During Thanksgiving weekend, Wednesday through Sunday is typically the deadliest time to travel, according to UHP. UDOT says traffic in Southern Utah usually peaks Wednesday and Sunday afternoons. In the past three years, troopers say 15 people have been killed on our roadways during that five-day stretch.
UDOT officials say the number one issue they face is that people don’t plan enough time to reach their holiday destinations in the first place, so they try to make up for lost time on roadways.