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Find yourself in a ditch this winter? Here's what to do

Nov 15, 2022 10:00AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Cristofer Maximilian

By Kirsten Mitchell - CBS Minnesota News - November 14, 2022

A blast of winter weather sent cars across Minnesota spinning and crashing Monday as some areas saw up to 5 inches of snow. 

First responders say there's one mistake drivers make after a crash that puts more lives at risk and that is getting out of their car.

"The first thing you want to do always is stay in your vehicle," said Minnesota Safety Council Traffic Safety Program Manager Lisa Kons.

Kons says if someone has slid off the road, the chances are others will, too. That's why it's important to stay bucked inside your vehicle until emergency crews arrive.

"If it's evening and it's real blustery and you don't feel there's a lot of cars out or you might not be found right away, conserve that energy for your vehicle, make sure your flashers on are when you hear a vehicle coming," Kons said.

The severity of the accident will determine whether to call 911, or the driver's own roadside assistance company.  


Jack Hart is a tow truck driver for Bobby & Steve's Auto World. He said he towed at least 15 vehicles on Monday.

"Got here at 6 in the morning and it's right off the bat, we're getting police calls on the highway, so it's been nonstop," Hart said.

Getting vehicles winter ready is another important step to ensure safety during challenging weather conditions.

"Tires are good investments,"  Kons said. "You want to make sure you have windshield wiper fluid and good blades on your car."

But most important?

"Slow down, take your time, slower is better," Hart said.

Ramps, bridges and overpasses are the most slick areas of the road. First responders also encourage everyone to have an emergency safety kit in their vehicle with items including a blanket, spare tire, jumper cables, flashlight and extra batteries, and first aid kit among other items.

Click here for a complete list of suggested items on the National Safety Council's website.

To read this original story and more news, follow this link to the CBS Minnesota News website.