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Last Saturday, in a three car highway collision, two Minnesotans were killed. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, at approximately 10:10 p.m. a westbound car on I 94 lost control while changing lanes. A truck pulled over to assist. A jeep hit the truck and than hit the car in the ditch. The driver of the Jeep and a passenger were killed. Three others were injured. In reviewing the evidence the weather conditions and speed look to be contributing factors.

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.

As with any death in a Minnesota motor vehicle collision, there are a number of issues that will need to be reviewed. My partner, Joe Crumley, addressed this topic in a recent article for the Minnesota Lawyers Trial magazine. I was interviewed last year on the same topic. In this case sorrow for the families of those involved goes out.

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