MnDOT urges motorists to prepare for winter weather and traffic impacts

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette

 Motorists should prepare for snow-covered road conditions in portions of Minnesota beginning Tuesday morning (Oct. 20) as a winter storm is expected to bring snow to the region through Wednesday morning, which means travel could be difficult.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of central, southern and northeast Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area. Forecasts suggest snowfall amounts could reach 2-5 inches in most areas of the state, with some higher amounts of snow possible, beginning Tuesday morning.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation encourages motorists to check before they travel to see current road conditions and view highway and snowplow cameras along their route.

Hundreds of snowplow operators will be working during the winter storm to keep road conditions as safe and clear as possible. Motorists should remember to slow down, stay alert, and stay back at least 10 car lengths and use extra caution when driving near snowplows.

“Motorists need to be prepared for changing road conditions to be sure their drive is safe and uneventful,” said Steve Lund, MnDOT maintenance engineer. “When driving near snowplows, remember to be patient and give our operators plenty of room to work so that they can improve road conditions and help you get where you need to be.”

If travel is necessary, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety recommends everyone in the vehicle is dressed for the cold weather. Motorists should keep blankets, water, food, phone chargers and an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Safe winter driving recommendations for all motorists include:

  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow. Don’t drive into a snow cloud.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.