The cause of most winter crashes in Minnesota? The driver, state patrol says


Stranded vehicles from spinouts and rollovers are a common sight while traveling on Minnesota roadways during a winter storm.

But it's not snow or ice-covered roads that cause the most car accidents each season. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, most one-vehicle crashes can be prevented.

State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Jesse Grabow tells Minnesota Public Radio that most incidents where a car slips off the road are caused by people driving too fast in poor conditions.

The state's Office of Traffic Safety points out even if roads are slippery, drivers can prevent their cars from running off the road by slowing down and increasing their following distance. The office also noted that all-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles do not decrease the chances of sliding off the road.

Other winter driving tips can be found here.

In Duluth, the patrol says drivers traveling too fast on icy roads have doubled the number of crashes this winter compared to last, Northlands NewsCenter reports.

Many might just think Minnesota has bad drivers (which is actually quite the opposite, according to this 2012 survey), but it's also a similar scene in central Michigan, where an interstate has been shut down four times this winter due to crashes.

"People travel too fast for these conditions," said Michigan State Police Lt. Jerry Carter.

Just north of the Minnesota-Canada border, thousands of accidents in Manitoba were the direct result of motorists driving too fast, according to Manitoba Public Insurance.

Bottom line: slow down.

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