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MnDOT: Be prepared for winter weather travel

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With significant snowfall and wind, and sub-zero temperatures predicted this weekend, motorists should be prepared if problems occur when traveling in western Minnesota.

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists that changing weather conditions could quickly alter road conditions and drivers need to pay special attention to their winter driving skills.

Prepare for winter driving

- Always call 511 or log on to www.511mn.org to check road conditions before your trip.

- Make sure your vehicle is winterized. Never travel with less than a half tank of gas.

- Always carry a winter survival kit. Include flashlights, blankets, hand/foot warmer packets, first aid supplies, high energy candy or snacks, bright fabric to tie on the antenna for help if stranded, candles to melt snow for drinking water, pencil, paper and cell phone or change for phone calls.

- Notify others of travel plans.

Winter driving tips

- Always use seat belts.

- Turn on headlights when it is snowing or sleeting.

- 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 snowplows or other snow removal equipment. Snow plows travel much slower than the posted speed.

- Never drive into a snow cloud.

- Be particularly aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.

- Do not use cruise control.

Mn/DOT also reminds motorists to obey the state's "Move Over Law." When approaching and passing an authorized emergency vehicle stopped on a street or highway that has two or more lanes in the same direction,

motorists must keep their vehicle at least one lane away from the emergency vehicle. If motorists cannot move over, they should reduce their vehicles speed.

For more information on safe winter driving, go to www.winterweather.state.mn.us. For statewide travel information and road conditions, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.511mn.org.

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