The variations in the seasons are among the most appealing elements of living in Minnesota. However, the constant changing of environmental factors also creates an assortment of different safety concerns. Winter driving in Minnesota can be especially hazardous, as people can lose control of their vehicles in ice and snow.
Businesses and schools tend to stay open even when the weather is terrible. People feel pressured to drive and may sometimes end up causing crashes because they don’t change their habits to reflect road conditions. To that end, here are some of the best ways for Minnesota drivers to protect themselves – as well as their passengers and those around them – from winter road risks.
Keep vehicles in safe condition
Vehicle maintenance is crucial for driver and passenger safety all through the year. However, a vehicle’s performance will be of the utmost importance during the winter months. The proper maintenance of brakes and tires will be crucial for someone attempting to maintain traction in icy or snowy conditions. Newer windshield wiper blades and a properly-maintained heating system will also be important to preserve someone’s ability to see their surroundings while driving.
Adapt driving habits for the weather
There are generally two safety tips that are of the utmost importance during the winter months. Drivers need to reduce their overall speed. Slower speeds are crucial for maintaining control of vehicles on slick roads. Drivers will also want to increase their following distance, as it may take longer to bring a vehicle to a complete stop when the roads are snowy or icy.
Adjust daily schedules
No one likes to wake up earlier for work, but that is exactly what drivers often need to do for optimal personal safety during the winter months in Minnesota. Getting off 10 or 15 minutes earlier will give someone an opportunity to leave earlier when road conditions are questionable. That extra time will keep people from feeling pressured to drive in the exact same way they do when road conditions are more favorable. Drivers will want to keep a close eye on others, as many people fail to change their habits when the roads are icy or snowy, and that failure can ultimately lead to people causing preventable collisions.
Finally, maintaining proper supplies in a vehicle, including clothing or blankets for warmth and flares to attract attention, can be crucial to someone’s safety if they do get into a crash or end up sliding into a ditch. Having a plan in place can make a big difference for those facing dangerous road conditions during the winter months in Minnesota.