Highway Patrol Menu

Driving Tips

Car drive on a snowy road and snow is falling

DRIVING TIPS TO KEEP YOU IN CONTROL

FOLLOW THESE TIPS AND YOU’LL BE STEERING AND STOPPING

INSTEAD OF SLIPPING AND SLIDING

Icon says Ice and Snow Take it Slow.

YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN

People driving too fast is the main cause of crashes in winter. Slow down.


Snow covered road with a Speed Limit 80 sign nexxt to it.

DRIVE UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT

The posted speed limit is for dry, ideal conditions. If it’s wet, snowy or icy, you should be going under the speed limit.


Cars with snow on them turn left in downtown Salt Lake City.

AVOID QUICK STOPS, STARTS AND TURNS

Accelerate slowly, brake gently and don’t turn quickly.


Vehicles drive on a slushy road way.

INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWING DISTANCE

You need more distance to safely stop when it’s wet, snowy or icy.


Snow covered road has more snow in between lanes than in the lanes.

USE EXTRA CAUTION WHEN CHANGING LANES

Snow and slush can form ridges between lanes that can be really slippery and can cause you to lose control. Avoid them if possible.


Close up of a seat belt

ALWAYS BUCKLE UP.

Crash risk increases in bad weather. Seat belts save lives. Watch a vehicle that rolled multiple times on wet roads but the driver was okay because he was buckled up.


Two young girls sit in car seats with jackets placed over them.

COATS CAN INTERFERE WITH CAR SEAT FIT

Place coats or blankets around children once the harness is snug and secure. Watch a video showing how coats affect car seat fit.


Close up of the rear of a car with the 4x4 logo on it.

4WD AND AWD DON’T MAKE YOU INVINCIBLE

They help with traction, but they don’t help with stopping and turning. And they can create a false sense of security – you still need to SLOW DOWN.


Close up of icy asphalt in the dark.

WATCH FOR BLACK ICE

Black ice looks more like a wet spot than a patch of ice and causes many crashes. Get tips for driving on ice here.


Animated road sign read Bridge Ices Before Road.

BRIDGES FREEZE FIRST

Use extra caution on bridges – the road on either side may just be wet, but the bridge may be icy.


Five snow plows are lined up on a freeway pushing snow.

THE ROAD BEHIND AN ACTIVE SNOW PLOW IS SAFER TO DRIVE ON

If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it and use extreme caution if you pass. Never pass on the right.


An old Crown Victoria is on a snow covered driving cause with mountains in the background.

IF YOU SKID, EASE OFF THE GAS AND TURN INTO THE SKID

If you start to skid, ease off the gas and turn in the direction the back of your car is going. Watch a video demonstrating this here.


A car's windshield is bent in and completely shattered.

SNOW LEFT ON YOUR CAR CAN BE HAZARDOUS

If it hardens, it can fly off and cause damage similar to what is in this photo.


Snow covers the hood and windshield of a parked car.

CLESR SNOW AND ICE FOR VISIBILITY

Clear ALL frost and snow off your windows, headlights, brake lights and signals.


Close up shows a steering wheel with the cruise control levers.

DON’T USE CRUISE CONTROL

In bad weather, road surfaces and conditions are constantly changing – you need to be in complete control.


Multiple deer stand in a field with snow.

WATCH FOR DEER

They can be more active after storms.


Close up of a fuel gauge in a car.

KEEP YOUR GAS TANK CLOSE TO FULL

If you get stuck in a traffic jam or snow, you might need more fuel then you anticipated to get home or to keep warm.


Winter clothes including gloves, hat, scarf boots and jacket.

DRESS FOR THE WEATHER

If something goes wrong and you’re stuck, you don’t want to be wearing flip flops and shorts. At least carry winter clothes in your car.


Close up shows a watch face.

GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME

Traffic will likely be moving slower and if you rush, you really put yourself at risk of crashing.


Coffee cup and a book sit on a table in front of a fire place.

STAY HOME – IF YOU REALLY DON’T NEED TO GO ANYWHERE

If a trip isn’t essential, enjoy the snow with a warm fire and a good book. Or binge watch your favorite show.