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The last couple of days gave us hope for warmer days and proof that a real sun exists. Despite the groundhog shadow, spring seemed almost in the air. But, today and what’s expected tonight clearly shows us that winter is still with us. As a result the State Patrol is recommend that everyone stay off the roads.

Across the state of Minnesota, there has been anywhere between 6 and 14 inches of new snow. The Twin Cities have 6 to 10 inches and wind chill factors of -14 below on the way. The University and schools across the area shut down for anything past this afternoon. The State Patrol reported dozens of spin outs and fender-benders on the region’s freeways. Fatal accidents closed down I 94 in Monticello, 494 in Bloomington, and county road 12 in Carlton County. It’s clear that the roads aren’t very good right now. So be safe or stay off them.

If you have to drive winter road tips from DPS and MnDOT include:

  • Always use seat belts.

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retain traction and avoid skids.

  • Do not use cruise control.

  • Do not “power up” hills, which may cause wheels to spin. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed before going downhill.

  • Know your brakes. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of the foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

  • Give yourself plenty of travel time. Don’t put your schedule before safety.

  • 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.

Most police officers asked say the key is usually to Just Slow Down.

If you are in an accident, make sure to get the names of anyone who indicates they saw what happened. If you witness an accident, check to see if everyone is OK and stay around or at least give the drivers your contact information. If you are injured, seek the advice of an attorney who does that kind of work and who can explain your coverages and rights.

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