Chains, coat, charger – now you’re more prepared for a safe winter drive

Feb 21, 2023, 3:09 PM | Updated: 6:24 pm
cars drive through piled up snow on road...
Motorists drive near Brighton Ski Resort on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The National Weather Service and KSL Meteorologists are predicting a major winter storm for northern Utah. It’s supposed to start snowing Tuesday afternoon, and by the time it moves on the valleys and benches could have four to eight inches of new snow. Northern Utah mountains could see as much as two to three feet of snow.

And the typical rule of thumb is that the safest winter drive is no winter drive at all. But some people can’t avoid it. So the question becomes, ‘do you have what you need in your car?’

There are some simple things to remember said Wade Matthews with the Utah Division of Emergency Management.

“Make sure your gas tank is above half full, at least, so that if you do get stranded or stuck somewhere,” Matthews said. “You can use your car as shelter, and you can keep yourself warm.” He said the best way to keep yourself out of the weather, should you get stuck, is your vehicle.

Inside the car? A winter coat. A blanket. A flashlight — with fresh battery. A little food and water in case you’re stuck there for a bit.

And don’t forget your charger.

“So that you can stay in communication with people that can come and help you, or, at least letting your family know you’re okay.”

Do you need chains if you’re not driving in one of our northern Utah canyons in a snowstorm?

If you live in an area with hills, Matthews said it’s not a bad idea to have chains in your car. And for that matter, check the treads on your tires.

That’s your first and foremost line of defense in a car.”

Finally, if you are taking shelter in your car and have the engine running take extra precautions to assure that your tailpipe is not blocked by snow. 

“You have to make sure that tailpipe is clear. If the tailpipe is covered by snow, you do risk a very serious situation with carbon monoxide building up in the car.”

Listen to KSL NewsRadio throughout the afternoon on Tuesday and into Wednesday as we track the storm for you.


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Chains, coat, charger – now you’re more prepared for a safe winter drive