ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota State Patrol is predicting dangerous driving conditions across much of the state.
With winter storm and blizzard warnings issues, drivers are being urged to use caution on the roads through Saturday. The State Patrol says snowy or icy road conditions were reported in more than 55,000 crashes between 2013 and 2015, resulting in 149 deaths and 15, 505 injuries.
The State Patrol has these tips before getting behind the wheel:
- Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.
- Drive with lights on for best visibility.
- If the conditions are too poor, do not travel unless necessary.
- If taking a trip, tell someone at your destination of your expected arrival time and your travel route.
- Make sure you have emergency items such as scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Blanket, heavy boots, warm clothing and flashlights are also important. Keeping food and bottled water in the vehicle is also a good idea in the event you become stranded in a snow storm.
When you are on the road, the State Patrol is asking drivers to:
- Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions and give yourself plenty of travel time.
- Increase the stopping distance between vehicles.
- Keep at least five car-lengths behind snow plows.
- Remain calm in a skid, ease foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
- Never pump anti-lock brakes. If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal.
- Not use cruise control on snow/icy/wet roads.
- Move over for flashing lights. Law enforcement, tow trucks and other emergency vehicles will be assisting motorists who are involved in crashes or become stranded. If you cannot move over, slow down.