Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
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SALT LAKE CITY -- With another storm hitting the Wasatch Front Thursday, the Utah Highway Patrol wants to make sure drivers are prepared for weather they will inevitably face this winter.
Slick roads seem to sneak up on drivers every year, and troopers say all it takes is a little bit of water or ice on the roads for things to turn ugly.
"We see a number of crashes that substantially go up during the winter driving conditions," says UHP Sgt. Glen Porter. "We see, a lot of times, especially when there is a snow storm, when people just aren't prepared."
"Several years ago, when I was working in Salt Lake, I was on crashes during winter-driving conditions, and I was hit on two separate occasions -- my vehicle was," he says.
The common mistakes, UHP says, are too much speed, not enough stopping distance, and not making sure you're vehicle is ready for the winter weather. So, troopers say they're trying to warn drivers before they're in an emergency.
"It doesn't seem like a big deal ‘till you're broke down. Then when you're calling AAA, or trying to get a trooper or another officer to come and help you, you'd wish you had checked it," says Trooper Dana Kramer.
Before you get behind the wheel and roll away, there are some things Kramer says you should check.
Once you've made sure your vehicle is in order, troopers say drivers should prepare themselves for what could be a messy commute.
"Increase your stopping distance, allowing extra stopping distance for these snowy conditions," Porter says.
They say to take it slow in the snow, because it takes twice the distance to stop when the roads are slick, and always wear your seat belt.
Story compiled with contributions from Jennifer Stagg and Becky Bruce.