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Forum staff reports, Published January 23 2013

10,000-plus Minnesota snow, ice crashes in 2012

ST. PAUL – Minnesota troopers are warning drivers to take it extra easy during the cold snap to reduce the chances of getting in a crash – and reduce the chances of getting stuck in the car in cold weather.

In 2012, 10,605 crashes in the state were on icy or snowy roads, resulting in 28 deaths and 3,081 injuries.

Drivers should buckle up, and make sure child restraints go under, not over, bulky winter clothing. Drivers should also observe road conditions and decrease speed accordingly, as well as increase their following distances. Headlights should be on when it’s snowing or sleeting, and you shouldn’t use cruise control on wet or icy roads.

Drivers should allow five car lengths between them and snowplows and remember to move over for emergency responders. Also, always clear snow and ice from windows, car hood, and signaling features of the car.

In the event of a skid, drivers should not pump their anti-lock brakes, but ease off the gas and turn their steering wheel in the direction they want the car to go. Finally, drivers should not travel without a winter survival kit in the car.