Staying safe on the winter roads

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As temperatures continue to drop, and with winter on the way, it’s very important for drivers to be aware and stay safe on the road.

Snow flurries swept through Minnesota this past week and as a result, we saw an uptick in car crashes.

“We had over thirteen hundred total crashes throughout the state and we had five fatal crashes,” Sgt. Troy Christianson of MN State Patrol said. “We really haven’t had significant snowfall, but it just seems like these light flurries, people aren’t reducing their speed.”

As temperatures continue to drop, it raises the level of caution you need to take when behind the wheel.

Many highways are already being a major spot for car crashes – one thing drivers should be on the look out for, are snow plows. 

“Snow plows are probably going about half the speed as vehicles on the highway,” Mike Dougherty, MNDOT Spokesman, said. “if you’re driving highway speeds you’re gonna come up on it very fast.”

Dougherty recommends to give yourself enough room between the car ahead of you to avoid a collision – and limit distracted driving.

Also – be sure to check the weather each day and keep your gas tank above half.

If you happen to find yourself in a car crash on the highway, it’s important to stay in your vehicle and if possible move it to the side of the road and away from the traffic.

“A lot of times people of course, they wanna get out and check the damage and see how bad the vehicle is,” Christianson said. “That’s when we will have someone get hit by another motorist that may lose control.”

Now Christianson says that if you see a crash on the highway that you are required by law to reduce your speed – and if you can – move over into another lane.