Minnesota’s winter brings beautiful snow, but it also makes roads slippery. Unfortunately, not all drivers know how to handle winter roads.
Inadequate winter driving skills, like misjudging braking on icy surfaces, often lead to accidents. Learning more about the dangers can keep roads safer during the winter months.
Minnesota car accident statistics
During 2022, there were 70,266 reported car accidents in The North Star State, involving
The number of crashes increased by 10% over the previous year, with the report listing a harsh winter as a main reason for the increase.
Reduced visibility in snowfall
Falling snow makes it hard to see on the roads. Low visibility raises the risk of accidents, as drivers might struggle to see other vehicles and road signs. Use headlights and keep them clear of snow for safe winter driving.
Danger at icy intersections
Intersections become more dangerous in winter. Ice at stop signs and traffic lights can lead to skidding or sliding. Drivers need to approach intersections carefully, slow down and leave extra space to stop.
Impact of poorly maintained roads
Winter weather and snow removal treatments damage roads. Poorly maintained, snowy and icy roads contribute to accidents. Municipalities need to keep roads in good shape, but drivers must also change how they drive to handle challenging conditions.
Tires with low tread or pressure reduce traction, making skidding more likely. Worn-out brake pads or faulty braking systems reduce a vehicle’s ability to stop on slippery surfaces. Regularly checking and maintaining tire pressure, tread depth and brakes helps ensure safer winter driving.
Adjust speeds to winter road conditions
Speeding is a common factor in winter accidents. Drivers often fail to adjust their speed for road conditions, increasing the risk of skidding or losing control. Following posted speed limits and slowing down in bad weather helps in preventing accidents.
Drivers must exercise caution and adjust their driving habits to accommodate the challenges posed by winter weather.