Posted: Wednesday, 04 December 2013 5:28AM

Crashes Encourage Safet Driving from Minnesota Department of Public Safety Offices

ST. PAUL (TEC News), December 4 – With four fatal crashes in Minnesota just on Monday alone, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Offices are urging motorists to take precautions with winter road conditions. In 2012, there were 5,688 crashes on snow- and ice-covered roads in Minnesota. Those crashes resulted in 28 deaths and 3,109 injuries.
Deadly Monday
        One person was killed after their car was struck by a jackknifed semitrailer. The semitrailer was traveling eastbound on Interstate 94 in Stearns County when it jackknifed, crossing the median into westbound traffic. The westbound vehicle then struck the semi, killing the driver.
        A motorist traveling northbound on Highway 7 in Big Stone County died after losing control of their vehicle. The vehicle ran off the road and rolled down a steep hill.
        A driver traveling westbound on Highway 210 in Aitkin County was killed when they lost control of their vehicle, which slid sideways into eastbound traffic. The vehicle was struck on the passenger side by an eastbound vehicle.
        A motorist traveling westbound on Sherburne Avenue in Becker Township (Sherburne County) died when their vehicle ran off the road and crashed into a tree. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.   
Safe Winter Driving Tips
        Avoid unnecessary travel if conditions are too poor.
        Buckle up, and make sure child restraints are secured. It is recommended not to use bulky clothing when securing a child in a restraint. Use blankets on top of the child restraint harness, not beneath.
        Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and provide for plenty of travel time.
        Increase safe stopping distance between vehicles.
        If skidding, remain calm, ease foot off the gas, and turn the steering wheel in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go.
        Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.
        Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.
        Do not use cruise control on snowy/icy/wet roads.
        Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows.