ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Ask a Trooper: When winter roads get slippery, remember these tips

Jesse-Grabow.jpg
Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol

In the past five years, officers reported snowy or icy road conditions in more than 79,569 crashes (2014-18). These crashes resulted in 214 traffic deaths and 20,761 injuries.

During the winter, it’s important to drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and give yourself plenty of travel time. State law requires the use of headlights when precipitation is present.

Increase stopping distance between vehicles. Expect bridges and overpasses to be icy during winter conditions, slow down accordingly and never use cruise control on snow/icy/wet roads.

Be aware that roads may be clear of snow and ice, but black ice that is invisible and almost totally transparent can form when the air temperature is warmer than the pavement.

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. If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal and never pump ABS brakes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows. Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.

Your seat belt is your first defense in case of a crash. Always buckle up and be sure child restraints are secured tightly. It is recommended that bulky clothes and blankets are fitted above the child restraint harness, not beneath, to ensure harness restraints fit properly.

Parents of teen drivers should make sure new motorists experience snow and ice driving in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot. Get your teen as much practice as possible before heading letting them heat out onto the streets.

No matter what the conditions, drive at safe speeds and be aware that a winter road can pose a danger. Always remember to pay attention, buckle up, drive the speed limit and always drive sober.

What To Read Next
"Church worship now competes with everything from professional sports to kids activities to household chores. ... we can either have a frank conversation about what church can be, or we can continue to watch the pews empty in cherished houses of worship across the country."
When Katie Pinke directed her daughter to a beef expert in preparation for her speech meet, it made her think about the need for trusted ag sources of information.
Casey is the well-behaved dog that normally stays out of the limelight.
"I experienced two epiphanies a week apart that made me realize that far too many people see their faith lives and the rest of their week as distinctly separate," Devlyn Brooks writes.