Looks like on top of the snow we have already gotten, the layer of snow of expected snow tonight is making for some slick roads.
While sunshine Saturday helped melt some icy stretches, officials still advised people to avoid driving through the weekend because the salt and chemicals that snowplows are dropping by the ton are taking longer to work in the cold.
“The metro system is certainly still a challenge,” said Kevin Gutknecht, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. “I want to counsel patience. This is the worst compacted snow we’ve seen in a long time. Chemicals are slowly but surely starting to work. It just takes time with these temperatures.”
Monday’s commute should be better, though crews will have a better sense of that by Sunday afternoon. Across Minnesota, the State Patrol had responded to 964 crashes, more than 2,300 vehicles off the road, 1,082 stalled vehicles, 74 jackknifed semitrailer trucks and 4,414 calls for service from Thursday through Saturday afternoon.
Winter road tips from DPS and MnDOT include:
- Always use seat belts.
- Accelerate and decelerate slowly on icy/snow-covered roads to retain traction and avoid skids.
- Do not use cruise control.
- Do not “power up” hills, which may cause wheels to spin. Build momentum before reaching a hill and don’t stop while traveling uphill. Reduce speed before going downhill.
- Know your brakes. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of the foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
- Give yourself plenty of travel time. Don’t put your schedule before safety.
- Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.
- Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.
Most police officers asked say the key is usually to Just Slow Down.
If you are in an accident, make sure to get the names of anyone who indicates they saw what happened. If you witness an accident, check to see if everyone is OK and stay around or at least give the drivers your contact information. If you are injured, seek the advice of an attorney who does that kind of work and who can explain your coverages and rights.