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Exercise extreme caution when driving in winter

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Reportedly, there were about 600 weather-related accidents last weekend when the state was hit with a snowstorm. In our view that is way too many and most were likely preventable if some caution had been exercised.

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Perhaps the first rule of winter driving safety is pay attention to the weather and stay home if it is threatening. Barring an emergency, there is nothing that important in life that we must tempt fate and drive somewhere on icy roads.

The second rule is if you are going to go out, drive with care. Leave plenty of stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, drive slower and drive defensively -- no texting, talking on the cell phone or allowing other distractions to interfere with your driving.

Finally, watch out for snowplows. They kick up a cloud of snow that is blinding, making it impossible to see what is around you.

Last year, with little snow, there were 21 snow plow-passenger car accidents, mostly were likely preventable.

Avoid driving in the "snow cloud" as a plow clears the road and stay well behind them. The road behind them is safer than the uncleared road ahead, so stay behind a snowplow.

Also, avoid passing a plow as the snow cloud limits visibility all around a plow.

Nothing is worth risking your life or others, so use caution and common sense when driving this winter. -- Fergus Falls Daily journal

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