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MnDOT gives holiday travel tips

ST. PAUL -- The Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds travelers to plan ahead and check road conditions before they begin their trip.

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ST. PAUL - The Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so the Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds travelers to plan ahead and check road conditions before they begin their trip.

"With more people projected to travel this year, knowing what the driving conditions are before you leave can make it a safer holiday for you and your family," said Commissioner Charlie Zelle in a news release. "Minnesotans know that weather can change quickly this time of year, so being prepared for the driving conditions before heading out is an important step to take."

The 511 traveler information system website and phone app provide road and driving conditions and includes links to the National Weather Service, according to a MnDOT news release. The system is available at www.511mn.org or by dialing 511. Motorists can also download the free 511 app on their smartphones and other mobile devices.

MnDOT asks motorists to take responsibility to:

• Allow extra time for travel delays.

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• When driving around snowplows, stay back at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and the plow.

• Slow down and drive a safe speed for current conditions, which sometimes means lower than the posted limit.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reminds motorists they can take steps to make themselves safer on Minnesota roads:

• Avoid unnecessary travel if conditions are too poor.

• Buckle up, and make sure child restraints are secured tightly.

• Increase safe stopping distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

• Clear snow and ice from vehicle windows, hood, headlights, brake lights and directional signals.

• Headlights must be turned on when it is snowing or sleeting.

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• Do not use cruise control on snow, icy or wet roads.

• Be sure cell phones are charged for long trips, and inform family of destination plans and schedule.

• If stranded, stay in the vehicle.

More winter driving information is available on the MnDOT and DPS websites.

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