1) Driving on Bangerter Highway During Rush Hour
Bangerter Highway, with its many traffic lights, is not only gridlocked during rush hour, it’s dangerous too. There’s nothing like getting rear-ended at a traffic light by a car traveling 60 mph.
2) Hiking Without Telling Anyone Where You’re Going
When you go out into Utah’s wilderness without a plan, and without notifying anyone of where you’re going (or when you’ll be back), bad things can happen. You could get your arm trapped between a car-sized boulder and the rock wall of a slot canyon, for instance. The profits from your resulting book might be nice, but do you really want to hack off your arm with a dull pocket knife?
3) Attempting DIY Home Improvement Projects Without Experience
If you’re a lifelong Utahn, odds are good that you’ve re-roofed your house, finished your basement, built a deck or installed tile by yourself...with absolutely no experience. That’s why you lost half your shingles last spring and none of the doors in your basement are plumb. Hire a professional already.
4) Going to a “Meeting” With the Friend Who Just Signed Up With an MLM
It’s just a one-hour meeting, and he has to bring a friend with him. He’ll even take you to dinner after! Don’t do it. He just wants to add you to his downline.
5) Running Into a Moose on the Trail
Moose are most dangerous during the rut, when horny young bulls are roaming looking for love (and fighting other moose). In Utah, this typically happens during the last week of September and first few weeks of October. In the spring, cows with their calves are also dangerous. If you run into a moose while hiking, give it plenty of room.
6) Going to the Liquor Store the Day Before a Holiday
Utah’s liquor stores are closed on state holidays, so the lines get long the day before. It’s bad enough that you’re paying about 30% more than you would in other states...you don’t need to wait an hour in line, too.
7) Visiting Relatives in Southern Utah in July
St. George is beautiful! But in July, temperatures are typically over 100 degrees. Why visit those cousins in the blistering heat when you can see them in February, when the weather is mild and sunny?
8) Forgetting Your Sunscreen on Bear Lake
This is such a painful mistake that you’ll hopefully only make it once.
9) Picking Up a Rattlesnake
This seems like a no-brainer, but people do it much more often than you’d think. Even baby rattlesnakes (which are smaller than a pencil) are venomous. Treatment with antivenom costs more than $50,000. Give that rattlesnake a wide berth. Or run screaming. Just leave it alone.
10) Crashing Your Car in a Remote Area of Utah’s Desert
Some parts of Utah are very remote, but it’s easy to become complacent because we travel through it via Interstates and state roads. In 2013, David Walsh, a resident of Kansas, was traveling through Utah along I-70, about 50 miles from Green River, when he crashed his car into a deep ravine. Pinned inside his vehicle, Mr. Walsh died several days after the accident — just a few hundred feet from the Interstate, but out of view of passing motorists.
11) Driving on South Temple After Dark in December
Every Utahn should see the Christmas lights at Temple Square at least once during their lifetime. Most December evenings, it seems that EVERY Utahn is trying to do so…all at once. If you’re going to see the lights, take TRAX. If you’re trying to drive around downtown Salt Lake City for some other purpose, avoid the 10 block radius around the temple.
12) Failing to Replace Your Tires
Fall is the perfect season to take a look at your treads. We’ve had a few mild winters lately, but there’s always several days during the winter when the roads are snowy and icy. Bald tires and snowy roads don’t mix.
13) Bringing Your Baby or Toddler to a Movie
Sure, Utah loves kids, but small children should not be present for a showing of any movie that’s not G-rated. Fellow moviegoers expect a fair amount of crying and noise during a noon showing of the latest Pixar movie. We don’t expect to see your two-year-old at the 9:30 showing of a horror or action movie (and we certainly don’t expect to put up with your kid screaming for two hours). You’re putting yourself in danger by bringing your kid to an inappropriate movie — everyone who just spent $9.50 for a ticket wants to kill you.
14) Hiking in October Without Your Hunter Orange
Utah hunters are supposed to visually identify their target before shooting. But do you really want to trust that ALL the people wandering around the mountains carrying rifles are so responsible? Some are drunk or hungover; others are just trigger-happy. If you’re out for a stroll through Utah’s nature during hunting season, avoid wearing that cute fake-fur vest and opt for hunter orange instead.
15) Sending Your Daughter to Prom in a Sleeveless Dress
That dress might cover her knees and have a high neckline, but if her bare shoulders are showing, she might well get sent home in tears. Apparently, Utah’s high school boys will go into a frenzy if they see shoulders. Or maybe that’s just the school administrators? In any case, don’t risk your money and your daughter’s emotional happiness — dress her like an Amish girl for prom.
16) Volunteering to Help Your Neighbor Move
In Utah, this means that you’ll show up at 7:30 a.m. to find that nothing is packed and the adults in the family are all at U-Haul because they haven’t yet picked up the truck. Once they finally arrive, you’ll discover that they own a piano, a heavy, sectional couch, a large chest freezer and a dozen 50-gallon barrels of emergency water (all of which is in the basement).