Roads icy; be cautious

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Icy roads across southern Minnesota are creating dangerous conditions for motorists. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, four rollover accidents occurred Wednesday, with a motorist reporting a fifth at around 4:15 p.m. between Blooming Prairie and Owatonna. For weather-related road information, call 5-1-1 or visit www.511mn.org.

For winter driving tips and more winter safety information visit http://www.winterweather.state.mn.us/WHAH_Home.asp.

The Departmet of Public Safety and the Minnesota Department of Transportation DPS recommend the following for safe winter driving:

Always use seat belts.

Adjust speed to road and weather conditions — lower speeds minimize crashes.

Keep a safe stopping distance between vehicles, and leave extra room between your vehicle and snow plows or other removal equipment.

Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retrain 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 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.