Capri Lyman's car after hitting a patch of black ice. All involved are alright. Photo courtesy of Caitlynn Lyman.
The Ephraim winter conditions are less than favorable, making driving throughout the winter months difficult for many. The roads get icy and slick, plows only come by on Main Street and College Avenue leaving many students' cars stranded at their apartments, and large snow banks are left until April to melt, adding obstacles for many to slide into.
The Utah Department of Public Safety (UDPS) has many tips to prepare drivers for the snow. Slowing down is one of the most important things the UDPS stresses. Many accidents happen on the roadway due to drivers going too fast for the conditions. They advise driving under the speed limit in any wet, icy, or snowy weather. Going along with that, slowing down when stopping or going at stoplights and when taking turns around corners.
Preparing a car for winter weather is another way to prevent accidents on the road. Checking tires, batteries, cooling systems, and windshield wipers will ensure that the car will be capable of handling in bad weather. Having proper tires can make or break transportation through the snow. Tires that are balding or without tread can cause cars to slip on snow and ice making for a more than unpleasant drive.
UDPS recommends that drivers keep an emergency kit in their cars at all times. These kits should include jumper cables, chains and a tow rope, emergency blankets, flashlights and flares or reflectors, extra winter clothes, medical supplies, nonperishable food and water, etc. Having these items in the car can decrease panic when stuck in bad weather.
In Ephraim, drivers should look out for deer and animals crossing both during the day and at night. If a deer does enter the roadway in front of the car, slow down, brake firmly and calmly, and try to stay in the same lane. Swerving could cause the car to skid, crash into an embankment or even another car.
Drivers should be alert and focused on the road when conditions are uncomfortable as there are many obstacles that may impede driving. Black ice, slick roads, and blinding snow are all things that can cause accidents. If even a little nervous about driving in the snow, reschedule plans or walk. And remember to always wear a seatbelt. For more information visit the UDPS website at: https://highwaypatrol.utah.gov/winter-driving/driving-tips/