MnDOT snow plow

A MnDOT snow plow during a previous snow storm.

Motorists should prepare for snow-covered road conditions, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said in a press release Tuesday, as a winter storm brought heavy snow to the region, making travel difficult.

As the snow season begins, MnDOT encourages motorists to check 511mn.org before they travel to see current road conditions and view highway and snowplow cameras along their route.

Hundreds of snowplow operators work during winter storms 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,” MnDOT Engineer Steve Lund said. “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 headlights and wear a seat belt.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions.

MnDOT’s road conditions map can be found at 511mn.org.

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