Some Utahns still haven't gotten the hang of winter driving

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SALT LAKE CITY -- As we approach mid-March, you'd think we'd have the hang of driving in winter conditions. But storm after storm we see the same slide-offs and accidents.

Monday's storms, combined with Tuesday's cold weather, made for a busy day for the Utah Highway Patrol. "Today was crazy. It was a crazy response day," said UHP Sgt. Kellie Oaks.

As we approach the end of winter, you'd think we'd be used to driving in dicey conditions, but Oaks says it seems to be a mental block that drivers can't get past.

"Usually, December and January are the worst. We hope to see less of it this time of the year," Oaks said. "People just don't think it'll ever happen to them. They see people crashing, but they think they're a good enough driver that they can maintain the same speed."

Monday near Willard, an Incident Management truck was hit while its driver was helping another slide-off. Then Tuesday night, our photographer caught a driver nearly swerving into a UHP trooper on the side of Interstate 15.

"Just pay attention. That's all we need them to do. Just slow down when they see us out there, move over, just give us a little bit of room," said Jeff Reynolds, a 12-year veteran with Incident Management.

Reynolds says he's had some close calls but helping people get off the road safely is worth the risk. "That's our goal: to get it cleaned up as fast as we can, as safe as we can," he said.

You'd think with spring around the corner, emergency workers could breathe a sigh of relief. But they say in warmer months, speeding accidents are a problem. Their advice, regardless of the month: slow down, pay attention and give them some room.


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