Ask a Trooper: Driving with caution in winter
Question: In the past few weeks, I noticed a major increase in the number of crashes due to slippery roads. Can you explain the importance of driving with due care and what troopers are seeing?
Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol has been extremely busy this winter responding to crashes and calls about vehicles off the road. Responding to an increased number of incidents increases the chances that we may be hit from a secondary crash.
In the month of February alone, more than 12 State Patrol squad cars have been hit by motorists and many of these crashes involved injuries. Below are photos of three Minnesota State Patrol vehicles that were struck this month.
We use our squad cars to secure crash scenes so those involved are protected from passing vehicles. This becomes extremely dangerous for troopers securing the crash scene – especially if the crash is blocking a lane of traffic on a slippery roadway.
Our office is the highway and we need your help to keep ourselves and motorists safe. Please remember to move over when you see flashing lights. If it is unsafe to move over, reduce your speed. If you see an emergency vehicle parked with its emergency lights on, this may be a warning that there is an incident ahead.
You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.
If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)