It’s no surprise to you if you were born and raised here, (or even if you’ve lived here for more than a few years), Minnesota winter weather can be unpredictable!
It can be -20° one day and 35° the next. It can be snowy and cold, or rainy and slushy. The roads can be dry today and icy tomorrow morning. The point is, as unpredictable as the weather can sometimes be, so too can the road conditions. So, drivers must take extra precautions to stay safe while behind the wheel.
Here are some tips that can help make your journeys this winter a little bit safer:
- Review Your Car Policy with your Agent: There have been numerous changes to car insurance policies since last year, so it is important to review your plan with an agent in order to ensure you have adequate coverage for whatever situation may come up. Make sure there are no gaps in coverage that could leave you uninsured if something were to occur while out on the road.
- Complete Routine Car Maintenance: Before taking any long trips, make sure to take your car in for routine maintenance. This applies to items such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake inspections. It is also important to check the fluids and battery before leaving on long trips. Additionally, if you are driving a new car or have recently gotten a new driver’s license, familiarize yourself with how the car works so you can be prepared in case of an emergency while driving.
- Protect Your Visibility: Make sure that all windows are clear of snow and ice before hitting the roads. Also, check that windshield wipers are working properly and all headlamps are functioning correctly – this will ensure that you have maximum visibility while out on the roads this winter.
- Inspect Your Tires: During the winter, it is important to make sure that you have good tread and enough air in your tires. Additionally, it is essential to use a tire designed for operating in cold weather conditions such as snow and ice.
- Pre-Plan Your Route: Before leaving on a long journey, plan out your route so that you know where you are going and can avoid any potential snags along the way. Letting family or friends know of your destination beforehand is also advisable in case of an emergency. Alternatively, location-sharing apps like Life360 can allow those close to you to follow your progress if necessary.
- Prepare for Potential Roadside Emergencies: It’s always important to be prepared for the worst. Make sure that you have an emergency kit in your vehicle with items such as a first-aid kit, jumper cables, flares, blankets or extra clothing, and the contact information of nearby tow services in the areas you’re traveling. Check with your insurance agent before you head out on the road about emergency roadside assistance programs that may be available to you. These member benefits can help you locate emergency towing or roadside assistance services and the cost could be covered by the policy feature.
- Know Your Car: As previously mentioned, if you recently got a new car or driver’s license it is important to get to know your car inside and out before taking any long trips. Knowing key areas of operations like where the spare tire is located or how to change a flat tire can save precious time in case of an emergency while on the road.
Following these tips will help make your winter journeys much safer and more enjoyable this season!
Be sure to always keep alert and drive responsibly so that you can make it to your destination safely.
Remember, when driving in Minnesota during the winter season, always practice safe and defensive driving! Above all else, stay alert and be prepared for whatever comes your way. Safe travels!