Welcome to the new March, Minnesotans. While most of Minnesota is used to having average temperatures of the mid-thirties by this time of the year, we woke up this morning with a temperature of -12 at the 6:47am sunrise. While this may be a shock to most, forecasters have been predicting this for quite a while. Summer roads may be the deadliest in Minnesota, but Minnesota winter driving leads to the most crashes and stalls. Follow these safe driving tips to drive safe in Minnesota.
As a driver in Minnesota, or any other frozen tundra, you cannot control the weather, which ultimately leads to less than desirable driving conditions, you can control the way you drive. It is not only about being a safe driver, but also using precautionary driving skills. Know your car, know the roads, and predict others to not know anything. Above all else, follow simple winter car care to optimize your safe travels.
A few tips for driving in snow, ice, or blizzard, white out conditions:
1. Avoid travel if you don't have to go anywhere! That movie you've been dying to see isn't worth crashing, getting stranded, or worse consequences.
2. Before you leave, equip vehicles with: scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables, tow chain, and a bag of sand or cat litter for tire traction. Blanket(s), heavy boots, warm clothing and flashlights are also important, as are storing high-energy foods such as chocolate or energy bars. A first aid kit is a must, all year round.
3. If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump ABS brakes. Drive safe in MN. Know your car.
4. 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.
5. Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and provide for plenty of travel time.
6. Use a safe stopping distance between vehicles
7. Be sure cell phones are fully charged for long trips, and always inform family on your travel plans, including destination and estimated time of arrival.
8. Clear snow and ice from all windows, mirrors, headlights, and tail lights.
9. Always have your headlights on when it is snowing or sleeting.
10. Never use cruise control when it is snowing, icy, sleeting, or if the roads are wet.
11. Make sure your tire pressure is on point. Meaning, if the last time you checked it was in July, you are posing as a threat to yourself and other drivers.
12. Always keep up on any maintanence needed on your vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to, tires, oil changes, spark plugs, hoses, belts, and water pumps. It is ideal to do a seasonal check up. This is something many companies can do while they change your oil.
13. Check your battery before winter begins! This is often overlooked, however being stranded with a dead battery, could be deadly.
14. Purchase those new wiper blades. Because nothing is worse than not being able to see while you drive.
15. For weather related road conditions information, you can call 5-1-1 or visitwww.511mn.org
16. If you have a vehicle that isn't safe to drive in Minnesota winters, store it someplace safe. Storing your vehicle in a climate controlled facility ensures that your vehicle will be ready to roll once the ice melts! Check out Auto Vault and packages we offer to keep your vehicle in its element. Click here to view our packages.
While driving in the snow isn't ideal, there are precautionary actions you can take to get to your destination safely. Minnesota winter driving can be a scary thing, however being confident in your driving moves, and vehicle are key.