Winter driving on base brings distinct challenges

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Goldsberry
  • 75th Air Base Wing Safety Office

(This article is part of HillAFB’s Winter Safety series. Prepare for the winter season with these helpful tips.)

Winter can often bring harsh weather, causing unfavorable driving conditions. It’s important for base drivers to be mindful of the rules of the road and to especially be cautious when driving in adverse conditions.

One of the biggest factors that will have a positive impact on safety is driver attitude. Courtesy and following the rules will achieve more and at a reduced cost than any other action. Take a minute to breathe and realize its math, we can only move so many cars so fast through a defined number of traffic lanes. Relax and you’ll get off base in a few minutes.

Speeding is the most common traffic violation on base. This can be especially dangerous during the winter as roads become slick and stopping distances increase. According to the Utah Highway Safety office, in 2019 there were 19,068 speed related accidents, of which 127 resulted in deaths. Following posted speed limits is the first step; ensure you have given yourself enough time to consider road conditions, construction or accident delays and realize that arriving a few minutes late is preferable to a ticket that takes money out of your pocket or worse, an accident that causes an injury or fatality. 

Base housing has seen a rash of drivers of four wheelers (ATVs) and Razors (UTVs) not following installation or state guidelines.  When you operate a UTV on Hill AFB, it must be legally licensed in accordance with Utah’s street legal guidelines.  Follow Utah state law and manufacturer’s guidance for UTV riding, which includes protective equipment recommendations.  ATVs are not permitted to be operated on public roads to include base housing and certainly not with children as passengers with or without proper protective equipment. 

With winter knocking on our doors, hours of sunlight are reduced. Personnel are now walking from parking lots to work and children are going to school during hours of darkness. Pedestrians should wear lightly covered clothing or reflective belts to assist drivers and ensure they are being seen. School children should have reflective tape on their packs and always cross in authorized crosswalks to minimize the risks.

If you have questions about what safety related practices you can incorporate into your driving on Hill AFB, please call 777-SAFE.  No matter what you ride or drive on the installation, it is important to stay vigilant and mindful of your actions.