Staying Safe in Extreme Weather When In An Accident

temperatures will hit below minus 20 this weekend


FARGO, N.D. — Some people were lucky enough to get away from Fargo’s below zero temps during their Christmas vacation.
But now that’s all over.

“It was 30s and 40s there but you just get out of the car and get gas and the wind hits your face and you’re like ‘well, yeah, we’re further north now,'” said Jason Olson.

Those frigid temperatures can really become a challenge to deal with when people get into car accidents though.
It’s why the Minnesota State Patrol says you should always check yourself before you wreck yourself before getting out of the car to look for help.

“The biggest thing is to make sure they remain with their vehicle. We don’t ever want to see anybody get out and try and start walking away from a crash or a scene, especially if it’s late at night or really early in the morning when there’s not a lot of traffic,” said Lt. Corey Pausch with the Minnesota State Patrol.

“I would try and get off to the side of the road as soon as possible to get out of the way of traffic, assess the damage, make sure nobody’s injured around or I’m injured or my wife or anybody else, call for help and keep the car running until somebody gets there to help I guess,” Olson said.

With wind chills expected to hit below minus 20, they say it’s important to always have a road kit inside the vehicle packed with things like…

“Boots, gloves, extra hats, stuff like that,” Olson said.

“Your car is going to cool down fairly rapidly in temperatures like that and it doesn’t take very long where all of a sudden it’s 20 below out and it could be five minutes but all of a sudden the heat in your car is going to very rapidly,” Pausch said.

Some say contacting law enforcement is the first thing you should do if you’re in an accident.

But that’s not always easy to do if your phone dies because it can’t handle the frigid temperatures.

“They need to keep it inside a pocket, inside their jacket or closer to their body where the phone can stay warmer is the best bet,” Pausch said.

In the meantime, some say just to avoid the accident altogether.

“Know where everybody else is and mind the roads,” Olson said.

Minnesota State Patrol officials remind people who are going out this weekend to celebrate the New Year to prepare who will be the designated driver ahead of time or to call a taxi or Uber to get home safely.

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