'Pack your patience': UDOT shares tips to keep drivers safe during fall break road trips

By Aley Davis, KSL TV | Posted - Oct. 16, 2018 at 8:02 p.m.

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OREM — The Tannerite family is heading on a road trip to Moab this fall break. They’re packing the car, researching activities before they leave, and prepping their teenage driver to make part of the journey.

Johnny and Sarah Tannerite are YouTube vloggers who document their family adventures together.

“We create one to two videos daily and put them out to the world on YouTube every day,” Johnny Tannerite said. They plan to make several videos of their time in Moab this week.

This trip, they’re letting their 17-year-old daughter, Allie Tannerite, practice her driving skills on their road trip. “Being a smaller person in a big giant vehicle is kind of scary,” she said.

"That’s a lot of liability in one car,” Johnny Tannerite said.

But it’s one way a lot of families let their teen drivers practice their skills. During KSL's visit, Allie and Johnny piled in the family’s suburban, along with several other kids in the Tannerite clan.

"Everyone’s buckled?” Johnny Tannerite asked. He then gave his daughter a few pointers on a practice drive around the neighborhood. “OK Allie, make sure your mirrors are all in view,” he suggested.

Sarah Tannerite admitted she and her husband tend to go to bed late the night before they leave for road trips since they are up late getting ready for the trip, although they said they are trying to be better.

“So, are you going to make sure to tell me if you get tired so you’re not driving drowsy as well?” Johnny asked Allie on the drive. “Yeah,” she responded.

Johnny Tannerite is letting his 17-year-old daughter, Allie, practice her driving skills on their road trip to Moab this fall break. (Photo: KSL TV)
Johnny Tannerite is letting his 17-year-old daughter, Allie, practice her driving skills on their road trip to Moab this fall break. (Photo: KSL TV)

Driving on little sleep is something officials at the Utah Department of Transportation are concerned about this fall break.

“They’re packing, they may not be getting the proper sleep,” said UDOT spokesman John Gleason. He reminds drivers to take breaks when needed.

“Getting out of the car and stretching," Gleason suggested. "If you have more than one person in the car (who) can drive, then trade of drivers."

He also encourages drivers to limit the number of distractions behind the wheel.

Sarah Tannerite said it can be difficult for the driver to focus when the back seat of the car is full of kids. She said she tries keep the kids entertained so they are not a distraction.

“Kids mean distractions, and so you want to make sure you are focusing all of your attention on the road,” Gleason said.


Gleason also reminds drivers to expect increased traffic with many Utahns hitting the road for the break. “That can cause people to maybe lose their patience," he said. "It’s important to pack your patience as you go out of town.”

He encourages people to leave early and to avoid peak travel times.

With tips in hand, Allie Tannerite said she is ready for the trip. “I think it’s pretty exciting that they’re letting me do it,” she said.


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