MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota State Patrol is encouraging drivers to go slowly and allow plenty of space between vehicles as the region heads into another icy weekend.

On Friday, 23 drivers were involved in a chain-reaction crash on Hwy. 169 near Excelsior Blvd. No one was seriously injured in the incident, but the highway remained closed for a couple of hours during the morning rush hour.

“The initial cause was a vehicle lost traction on the icy bridge deck, hit the wall and then careened into another vehicle,” said Lt. Tiffani Nielson with the Minnesota State Patrol.

Nielson said it’s critical for drivers to beware the icy conditions – especially on bridges and ramps – given that the sub-zero temperatures can also reduce the effectiveness of the state’s road treatment. She encourages people to keep their eyes on the horizon and heed incidents down the road.

“Don’t brake right away, take your foot off the gas – that will reduce your speed slowly. And having your eyes to the horizon helps you see these events before you’re right on top of them,” she said.

Nielson also suggests drivers increase their following distance from three to five or even 10 seconds between cars during icy conditions. And she encourages everyone to simply reduce their speed.

“Just take your time, move slow and we want everybody to get to their destination safely,” she said.