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Winter Hazard Awareness Week begins with a round of snow Monday

From Nov. 14 through 18, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety wants everyone statewide to get ready to stay safe during the coming winter.

MINNEAPOLIS — Monday morning MnDOT plow crews are getting back into the flow of winter weather, as fluffy flakes fell across much of the western part of the state.

The first snow coincides with the start of Winter Hazard Awareness Week in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Public Health, in partnership with the National Weather Service, wants to make sure everyone has a safe and fun season of snow. 

Winter Hazard Awareness week starts on Monday, Nov. 14 and runs through Friday, Nov. 18. Each day focuses on a different aspect of winter safety, including outdoor safety, fire safety and winter driving. 

While officials are gearing up for a week of safety awareness, around 800 MnDOT snowplows are out and about, covering thousands of miles of road. As they usually are, crews were up early on Monday, prepping the roads before the morning commute's traffic gets heavy. 

If conditions allow, drivers will also be putting down anti-icing agents and salt. When you see snowplows driving on the road, remember that it's not illegal to pass them, but it can be very dangerous.

MnDOT wants you to stay back at least 10 car lengths.

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With the return of this winter weather, it's the perfect time to drop some reminders about winter weather driving. Even those "old pros" who grew up driving in the ice and snow can use a little reminder from time to time!

While MnDOT is hard at work on the roads, here are some steps you should take before hopping into your car Monday morning:

  • Plan ahead: Always give yourself extra time to get to where you need to go when road conditions change from dry to snowy or icy.
  • Be patient: Slow down. Create enough distance between you, other drivers, and snowplows.

Experts also recommend avoiding cruise control when the snow starts to fall.

Before you head out, you can also go to 511mn.org to check out road conditions and see if there are any accidents popping up along your route.

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