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Published December 30, 2010, 02:45 PM

Road Safety Tips for New Year's Holiday

The Minnesota Department of Transportation encourages travelers to check the weather forecast and 511 before hitting the road for New Year’s holiday travel.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation encourages travelers to check the weather forecast and 511 before hitting the road for New Year’s holiday travel.

Many areas of the state are experiencing fog, freezing rain or drizzle that may change to snow, with blizzard conditions, plunging temperatures and increasing winds possible Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. That’s the same time that many people take to the roads to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, creating a dangerous combination of less than optimal weather conditions with increased travel.

Mn/DOT crews are doing their part to make highways safe.

Motorists should remember to:

* Check the weather forecast – www.nws.noaa.gov and click the map for the forecast along your travel route.

* Check road conditions – Go to www.511mn.org or call 511.

* Drive slowly – Especially on bridges, overpasses and tunnels.

* Be patient – Remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.

* Stay back – At least five car lengths behind the plow, and a safe stopping distance from the vehicle in front of you.

* Stay alert – Snowplows turn or exit frequently and often with little warning; they may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.

* Headlights on – Increase your visibility to other motorists.

* Buckle up – Make sure child restraints are secured correctly.

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