'Very rare' freezing rain creates chaos on roads

Three UHP troopers were hit within three hours

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  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    I have a couple of observations to add to the generally very good comments so far:

    First, Utah doesn't have a corner on the bad drivers market. Granted, there are some examples of atrocious driving here (more on that later), but there are lots of above average drivers here, too. In my driving experience, some of the worst drivers I have encountered have been in the Bay Area of Northern California and in metro Washington, D.C.; but I would also be the first to admit that those areas don't have a corner on bad driving, either.

    And finally, with that said, there are some tendencies that I have observed here that give me real cause for concern. There are some drivers here whose judgment seems to be impaired by inclement weather and poor driving conditions, specifically those who tailgate or pull in front of other vehicles when conditions reduce stopping ability (mentioned by others here).

    I think the takeaways are that we all have room for improvement; that good judgment is crucial to safe driving, especially when conditions are poor; and that negative generalizations about a region's drivers are probably not particularly constructive.

    Just my $0.02 . . .

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Jan. 25, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Yesterday, I thought I was back in Massachusetts :) Freezing rains are common during winter months in New England, only we got 1/4 inch ice on everything instead of the thin layer we got yesterday. As soon as I left my house, I knew we had had freezing rain, because ice was everywhere and I almost fell down on my sidewalk. I was heading for the street to bring in my trash bins, and I just turned around and left the bins in the street. Yesterday was not a day for an old man like me to walk or drive.

  • SpanishImmersed Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 25, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    It truly was an amazing and rare event we suffered through. I know of one southbound driver from Davis to Utah County, that made it to downtown SLC by 8am, and only managed to get to Draper by 2pm, so he turned around hoping to get back home by dark-thirty.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:36 p.m.

    Yes, Utahns generally don't know how to drive on icy roads. The smug comments from people too good for Utah obviously haven't lived in other winter weather states-drivers there are no better.

  • crazybeau West Valley city, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    I agree with Liberal Ted and WhyNotThink. This morning I was coming down a hill on 6400 West (a hill covered by ice) and a lovely driver of an SUV pulled out of a side road in front of me. Note: Down hill - Sheet of Ice...Stopping Power = "0" I hit my brakes as hard as I dared and tried to slow down, of course just kept going. I ended up sliding into the incoming lane (on purpose) to ensure I didn't rear end the nice gentleman who was so kind to pull out in front of me. I recovered and went on down the road, but noticed that the SUV was now tailgating the car in front of him. I dropped back even further thinking that if something happened at least I could avoid it. Slow Down - Leave enough Space - and Don't pull out in front of people when the roads are icy - DUH!

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    I commute via I-15 daily. It is amazing how many drivers 1) Drive too fast 2) Tailgate 3) aggressively weave in and out of traffic 4) cross solid white lines 5) cross DOUBLE solid lines 6) are so discourteous as to not allow other drivers to merge into traffic.

    I did see a trooper pull a guy over the other day who crossed the double white lines in the HOV lane. I let out an audible cheer. I wish they would ticket more of these people. Crossing the double white lines, particularly when going slow and pulling into much faster traffic in the HOV lane, IS DANGEROUS FOR EVERYONE, and illegal.

    C'mon people. Let's grow up and wise up. All this aggressive driving ends up costing us all much more time than it possibly can save. There just end up being more accidents that clog our freeways and grind traffic flow to a halt.

  • SpanishImmersed Mesa, AZ
    Jan. 24, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    Welcome to Dallas!

  • WhyNotThink North, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Liberal Ted

    Hear! Hear! I have only been in this state for a few years. It amazes me how many folks don't understand the basic physics of following distances and speed. I had someone so close to me on I-15 this morning that I could not see his headlights. The road was a sheet of ice with all traffic boxed in going about 20 mph.

    I noticed several other drivers doing the same. To those who are compulsive tailgaters: When you drive that way do you think by tailgating you will get where you are going faster? Are you OK with placing your fate in the hands of the unknown driver in front of you? Is risk of damage to property and even injury worth the 0.1 to 0.2 seconds that you might get their sooner?

    At close following distances (driver in front can’t see your headlights) and even at 15 mph your response time will not be fast enough (even if you are very athletic) to prevent an accident.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 24, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    Evidently the Des News deems it unimportant to report on the unhealthful air quality over Northern Utah, in its fifth day! Or report that Utah's air quality board requests commuters take public transportation and restrict fire place use. How many premature deaths are attributed to poor air quality? 1000-2000? How many premature births due to bad air quality? If the Des News is trying to be a public opinion maker in Utah, it should jump on this issue. Failing to address the visiting winter Elephant in the room makes the paper seem laughably ilrelevant.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    In Alabama they shut down the ramps when the roads are icy. Anyone driving on a closed expressway gets a ticket. They don't care if you have an SUV. The road is CLOSED.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    Last year a Youtube video got over 1 million hits during winter.

    It was people sliding off the road down a hill and crashing.

    It was in Utah.

    I wonder if this will make national level scrutiny of Utah's bad driving. Again.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    It's not soo much the freezing rain. As it is the drivers and those that don't give enough following distance, drive too fast for the road condition and people not paying attention to driving.

    If people would calm down, stay off the roads and let the crews clear the streets first. Then most if not all of these accidents could have been avoided.