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Minnesota crashes clogging state highways

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

 The Minnesota State Patrol (MSP) has responded to 175 crashes statewide since midnight, Dec. 4. Of those, 137 occurred in the Twin Cities Metro area. There were no serious or fatal crashes.

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MSP also has responded to 192 cases of vehicles off the road (vehicle spin outs) and one jackknifed semi since midnight.

These crashes, along with the four fatal crashes on Minnesota roads that occurred earlier this week, are a reminder that motorists need to plan ahead and adjust their driving to the weather.

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.

MnDOT: Don’t Crowd the Plow

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has its plows out on state roadways clearing snow and applying sand and salt. 

MnDOT encourages motorists to give plows room to work and to slow down when encountering plows. 

Motorists also are reminded that as temperatures drop, ice may form and create slippery spots. Bridges also may become slippery. 

HSEM: Prepare Your Winter Weather Emergency Kit

DPS’ Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management urges motorists to create a winter weather emergency kit for their vehicle in case they become stranded. The kit should include:

  • Coffee can and small candles and matches to use to melt snow for drinking water.
  • Brightly colored bandana or cloth to hang from the vehicle window to signal help is needed.
  • Large plastic garbage bags to tie around feet to keep them warm.
  • Safety pins to secure the garbage bags.
  • Whistle to alert authorities.
  • Snacks.
  • Cell phone adapter to plug into lighter.
  • Plastic flashlight and spare batteries.
  • Extra hats, mittens, boots and blankets.

Motorists who are stranded should remain in their vehicle and call 911 for help.

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