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Safety tips for Minnesota roads as winter weather turns to spring

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Vehicle Accidents

As winter transitions to spring in Minnesota, drivers must continue to remain vigilant on the roads. The change in seasons brings unique challenges that can result in accidents.

The following reminders can help motorists stay safe during this period.

Minding the melting snow

As temperatures rise, the snow and ice that once covered the roads begin to melt. While this may seem like a relief from winter driving conditions, it can actually make the roads more treacherous. Melting snow can create slick surfaces, increasing the risk of skidding and loss of control.

The Minnesota Safety Council encourages drivers to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles to allow for increased stopping distance on wet roads. Avoiding sudden maneuvers is another good tip. Abrupt turns or stops can lead to loss of traction on slippery roads. Instead, it is better to make gradual movements to maintain control of a vehicle.

Even as the snow melts, patches of black ice may still be present, especially during the early morning and late evening hours. Melting and freezing snow can also create potholes. Keeping an eye out for these hazards can prevent vehicle damage and collisions.

Remaining cautious amid warmer weather and increased traffic

The arrival of warmer temperatures can cause drivers to become overconfident. Warmer weather can lead to a false sense of security, but different hazards can present themselves.

For example, more people may be out walking or biking. Drivers have a responsibility to stay attentive and yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. They should also give cyclists plenty of space when passing. Wildlife also begins to come out of hibernation and resume activity, so drivers should watch for these creatures as well.

Navigating road construction safely

The arrival of spring brings the return of road construction projects. Construction zones can present obstacles and hazards, including narrowed lanes, uneven surfaces and workers on or near the road.

Safety requires following posted signs and speed limits. Therefore, drivers must pay close attention to signage indicating construction zones and any changes to traffic patterns.

When construction is ahead, drivers should plan to merge into the appropriate lane well before reaching a construction zone. Last-minute lane changes can disrupt traffic flow and increase the risk of accidents.

By staying alert and following these safety tips, drivers can ensure a smoother transition from winter to spring on Minnesota’s roads. Still, no one can account for what other drivers may do. If a fellow traveler’s carelessness leads to an accident, the injured party can seek compensation with a personal injury claim.