Crow Wing County Discusses Safe Winter Driving
Driving safely in snow or other poor road conditions is all about being prepared.
“Try to reduce those distractions, have good tires, have your windshield clear, full tank of fuel and have your plan for where you are going,” said Tom Nixon, MnDOT Public Safety TZD Regional Coordinator.
When it comes to planning, Crow Wing County goes out on the roads anywhere from 2 to 48 hours before a snowstorm to begin their ant-icing efforts. It’s a process of mixing salt and water together to improve traction on the roads.
“We went out Wednesday and started anti-icing on Wednesday knowing this storm was coming late last night, which it did. The temperatures dropped a little – but more than what we were expecting them to – but the anti-icing did help us out in some areas,” Danielson said.
Throughout Crow Wing County there are 16 different plow routes that are out using different techniques to help keep the roads clear and safe for drivers.
“We go with straight salt, rock salt that we put down when the temperatures are getting about 15 degrees. When they fall below 15 degrees we go to a salt and sand mix for traction at intersections and on curves,” said Jory Danielson, Crow Wing County Maintenance Supervisor.
In order to disperse the proper materials on the roadways, drivers should remain patient with the snowplows.
“Give our plows room, stay back, if you can’t see both plow mirrors then the plow drivers can’t see you, typically. Don’t ever pass a plow, especially not on the right-hand side,” Danielson said.
“The roads today are no more unsafe than they were yesterday; it comes down to the responsibility of the driver, and the driver has to think forward of what they are going to be encountering be the snow, the plows, the ice and the time is going to be a little delayed,” Nixon said. “It’s going to take us longer so plan ahead, be safe, drive sober, drive without distraction, wear your seat belt and you’ll arrive alive.”
Keeping in mind to always pay attention to the road in front of you.
“If you do come upon a crash, make sure you slow down and try to pay attention to your driving. When the responders are out on the road they are working really hard to try to keep that scene safe,” Nixon said.
Before you hit the road this winter, be sure to check out the Crow Wing County Minnesota Website or Facebook Page to hear the latest road conditions. Visit: http://www.crowwing.us/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/crowwingcounty/