Safe driving tips for wintery and icy weather

As many parts of the state brace for more wintery and icy conditions,
the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation urge motorists to
continue to practice safe winter driving skills and be buckled up,
patient and attentive behind the wheel.

As many parts of the state brace for more wintery and icy conditions, the Departments of Public Safety and Transportation urge motorists to continue to practice safe winter driving skills and be buckled up, patient and attentive behind the wheel.

Winter driving tips:
• Buckle up, and make sure child restraints are secured tight and properly. It is recommended for parents and caregivers to use bulky clothes and blankets above the child restraint harness, not beneath, to ensure harness restraints fit properly.
• Drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and plan for additional travel time.
• Increase safe stopping distance between vehicles.
• Use extra precautions when driving around snowplows by keeping at least five car-lengths behind plows.
• If skidding, remain calm, ease foot off the gas and turn the steering wheel in the direction that the front of the vehicle should go.
• If vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply a steady firm pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump ABS brakes.
• 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 snow/icy/wet roads.
• Motorists should equip their vehicles with a scraper/brush, small shovel, jumper cables 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.  
• Parents of teen drivers should make sure new motorists experience snow and ice driving in a safe environment, such as an empty parking lot.
For weather-related road condition information call 5-1-1 or visit www.511mn.org.

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