State Patrol offers winter driving safety tips

Minnesota State Patrol is reminding drivers of safe practices following a car accident, as winter weather returns to the state.

As snow blanketed the snow on Monday, there were over 500 crashes recorded across the state.

MnDOT cameras show a red car spinning out on the interstate missing several trucks by a hair.

Drivers are also on video sliding off ramps and into ditches back to back.

When the snow falls, difficult driving conditions follow.

“I did see crashes everywhere. People spinning out,” Ricardo Holmez, Affordable Junk Removal worker, said.

If there’s rain, sleet or snow, Holmez has no choice but to be on the roads for his junk removal business.

“We took it slow and got though it without any accidents,” he said.

If an accident happens, highway safety experts said knowing what to do next could save your life.

“It’s important that you get your vehicle off to the shoulder if possible, but always stay in your vehicle and keep your seatbelt on,” Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, said. “So a lot of times we’ll have somebody not paying attention and actually rear-end the vehicle.”

When you reach the shoulder, dial 911 and a State Trooper will respond and provide lights to get you off the roadway safely.

“We just get a little bit of snow and people keep driving over that turns to ice fairly quickly and that’s when we start to see a lot of these crashes happen,” Sgt. Christianson said.

The State Patrol is seeing an increase in fatal crashes within the last few years and high speeds are what’s fueling them.

Authorities are urging drivers to slow down, increase your following distance, plan for more travel time and stay focused while driving.

Minnesota State Patrol added if you don’t follow some of these safe practices, it’s possible you can cause another crash after the first one.

Authorities advise drivers to keep blankets, food and water in the car just in case you’re waiting on help following an accident