A new rule from the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) that went into effect on September 1st, 2019 requires snow tires or snow chains on most passenger cars and light-duty trucks during weather restrictions on Utah roads.

Who it Applies To

The new rule applies to all 2-wheel drive vehicles under 12,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight. That means there are no updates that concern drivers of 4-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles, and they may continue to use all-season tires on roads with weather restrictions.

What’s New

In previous years, drivers entering roads with weather restrictions could get away with tires indicated with a mud and snow rating (M+S or M/S). Now, 2-wheel drive vehicles will need certified snow tires with the three-peak mountain snowflake logo or an acceptable traction device.

Snow Tires vs Chains

Chains or similar traction devices are also acceptable for drivers of 2-wheel vehicles on weather restricted roads. There are pros and cons to both snow tires and snow chains. The following is a comparison:

Snow Tires

Pros:

  • Provide excellent traction on snowy/icy roads.
  • Won’t cause damage to dry roadways.
  • Can be used effectively on dry pavement.

Cons:

  • More expensive than chains ($100-$200 per tire on most 2-wheel drive vehicles).
  • Will need to be installed and removed by professionals at the start and the end of the winter.
  • Wear out faster when driven on dry pavement.

Chains

Pros:

  • Provide the greatest amount of traction on ice, packed snow, and deep snow.
  • Substantially cheaper than snow tires ($20-$40 per chain).
  • Easily installed and removed by the driver.

Cons:

  • Are not meant for use on dry pavement.
  • Can only be used at a low speed of travel.
  • Requires the driver to pull over and install them every time they’re used.

Which Utah Roads May be Affected

A map specifying which roads are subject to weather restrictions across the state can be found at www.ksl.com/article/46653198/ 

The most frequently traveled roads include:

  •  I-80 East between Salt Lake City and Park City
  • US 89 between Brigham City and Logan
  • Big Cottonwood Canyon
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon

Penalty for Non-Compliance

Depending on the road and the severity of the weather conditions, a police or transportation officer may check each vehicle intending to travel on the affected road. Entrance may be denied if the vehicle doesn’t have the appropriate snow tires or chains.

Non-compliant drivers may also be given a warning or an infraction which may include a fine.

Winter Driving Accidents

Adverse driving conditions, especially snowy and icy ones, inevitably create more car accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured in a winter driving accident caused by the negligence of another driver you deserve fair and full compensation for the damages and injuries you’ve suffered.

At Craig Swapp & Associates our attorneys have the experience necessary to reach the maximum compensation for your individual case. Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 to set up a free consultation with one of our specialists. You can also get in touch with us by filling out the online form at the bottom of this page or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/craigswapplaw.