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Winter weather causes thousands of car crashes each year in Minnesota. Hopefully you're never involved in one, but if you are do you know what to do? 

Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol says the answer depends on the circumstances of the crash.

  • If it is a property damage crash without injuries you should move your vehicle away from traffic if possible and get to a safe location before exiting or exchanging information with the other driver involved.
  • If your vehicle is disabled and you are unable to move out of the lanes of traffic, stay in your vehicle and leave your seat belt on in case of a secondary crash.  If you lose sight or contact with the other motorist involved in the crash, you should report the crash to law enforcement as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of being charged with hit and run.
  • If someone in the crash is injured or killed the law requires that you call 911 as quickly as possible.
  • If you come upon a crash you will need to evaluate the incident and decide on the best course of action to minimize the risk of harm to you. If you are the first on the scene and have stopped to render aid, park your vehicle well off the roadway and away from the crash so your vehicle will not become a hazard to emergency vehicles or other motorists. Warn other drivers of danger with four-way flashers, flares and flashlights.
  • If there is a personal injury, serious property damage or danger to other motorists at the crash scene, call 911. Be prepared to provide location, such as distance from an intersection or milepost number. Account for all occupants of the vehicles and aid the injured if you are qualified. Do not move injured persons unless they are endangered by traffic, fire or excessive bleeding.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. or email - Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.