Winter weather has a tendency to cause accidents because some drivers underestimate the effect it will have on the roads.
Dr. Richard Medina, professor of geography at the University of Utah, believes that the number of accidents can be minimized by finding the areas with the highest concentration of accidents. With this data, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) will be able to look at the area and make changes to help prevent car accidents. This winter, Medina plans to collect data to this end.
Having succeeded on a similar project in Washington, D.C. in 2011, Medina is confident his research will yield positive results. For now, he is studying the accidents of Salt Lake County.
In the storm on November 28, 2016 alone, there were 129 car accidents in the Salt Lake, Utah, and Davis counties combined (statistics courtesy of Fox 13).
When asked if she thought Medina’s plan would work, Snow College student, Leah Mason replied that she thought, “it might, it just depends on how well the public is informed about how this change will happen.” Mason went on to say, “One example is like on Bangerter Highway, how they changed that [continuous flow intersections]. It helped to make it safer to get on and off.”
Continuous flow intersections are designed to minimize the points of possible impact and collisions when a person is making a left hand turn, by displacing the left turn lane (see www.fhwa.dot.gov for more information).
Snow College student, Brynn Shepherd agreed, “I definitely think it could because he has done it in a different area and it did work.”
When traveling after finals, Snow College students, faculty, and staff should practice safe driving procedures.