How to avoid getting stuck on the roads

If spinning your wheels isn’t frustrating enough as flakes fly and pile up, Old Man Winter can leave you stuck in a literal rut – if you let him.

Statewide, the Minnesota State Patrol responded to 282 crashes, 35 with injuries, 584 spin outs and 7 jackknifed semis from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Deb Van Dyke, a driving instructor with AAA has some tips on how to avoid making a roadside bobsled run.

“Follow where the plow has been going when you’re making right turns in particular,” said Van Dyke. “Don’t get too close to the right, I've had a couple of behind the wheel students that have gotten a little hung up on the snow banks because they get a little too close.”

Reducing your speed and leaving extra room between you and traffic ahead will also keep you from getting bound by Jack Frost.

“You can rock back and forth, again you want to keep your wheels straight, pull the car forward, roll back, it might take you a few times to get back and forth,” said Van Dyke.

Leave home prepared and ending up in winter’s slushy clutches won't be so scary.

“If you’ve got a small shovel, you can shovel just a couple feet, inches that would get you to roll a little bit and you might have to go back several times, but eventually you should be able get a path that you can get out,” said Van Dyke.

Otherwise, call for help.

“If you do have someone helping you, make sure they’re staying at the corner, the back corner sides of your car, as opposed to directly behind it, you don’t want someone slipping and accidentally getting run over,” said Meredith Terpstra, AAA spokeswoman.

Just make sure everyone's life is top priority.

“If you can leave a dome light on in your car, that helps people know you are still in there,” said Terpstra. “Have your hazards on, have the lights on, so that way people know you are still in your car and do actually actively need help.”