MnDOT and State Patrol Give Tips on Safe Driving This Winter
It’s that time of the year again where the streets are filled with ice and snow, and driving conditions become difficult and even sometimes dangerous.
As Minnesotans, we all know that winter driving is just around the corner and it’s not if we will get the snow…it’s a matter of when. As soon as we see that first snow fall, we are pushed into such a quick transition. Though high numbers of accidents due to snow is not new to us, it has been oddly high this time of year.
MnDOT Public Engagement Coordinator TJ Melcher says that the contributing factors in most of these fatality crashes are speed, distracted driving, and taking chances. When drivers transition to the winter time, excessive speeds against road conditions is the quickest way to get into trouble.
The Minnesota State Patrol and state law enforcement have both been responding to a number of crashes resulting from people driving too fast. Sgt. Jesse Grabow with the State Patrol gave us some of his tips for being safe on the roads.
“I think it’s just best to always plan ahead and be prepared,” said Sgt. Grabow. “Know what the conditions are, know what the local forecast [is], all those different things, and just taking your time. That’s some of the best advice I can give. You yourself might be a pretty good driver but we do share the roadways with other people making some of those poor choices, and if they are driving too fast, lose control, start to spin out, do you have enough time to react accordingly and to avoid the hazard they just created?”
Some important safety tips for drivers is to make sure headlights are turned on, cruise control is turned off, seat belts are fastened, to always stay behind a snowplow – do not try to pass it – and always try to stay at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow.
For more information on how to stay safe this winter, you can visit 511mn.org.
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