Minnesota winters can be brutal. Any resident knows that the freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall make for dangerous road conditions during the colder season.

While most people know how to adjust their driving to accommodate the blustery, slippery conditions, there are other unexpected hazards that can make winter driving dangerous.

Poor visibility

No matter the time of day, snow, sleet or freezing rain can cloud your vision and make it difficult to see the road ahead of you.

Even on a rare sunny winter’s day when the snow isn’t falling, the sunlight that reflects off of the surrounding snow can be blinding, making it difficult to keep your eyes open. That blinding quality often carries over into the nighttime when headlights can glance off of any ice or water on the road.

In addition, the snowy weather can make your windshield smudged or dirty. When headlights shine through the window, it might cause glares that can temporarily affect your visibility.

Tire pressure

The freezing temperatures of a Minnesota winter can have a significant impact on your tire pressure. Cold weather makes tire pressure drop, so if you drive on a tire without proper pressure, you run several risks.

First, your tire could wear more easily, and you could be facing a flat tire in no time. Low-pressure tires also increase your stopping time, which means that on slippery roads, you’ll have an even more difficult time coming to a stop or braking to avoid an accident.

Potholes

Snowplows work tirelessly to clear off snow-laden roads. But often, they pull up cracked parts of the street with them. Potholes often litter winter roads because of this. A large enough pothole can damage your car and even rupture your tire. A sudden flat tire on a slippery winter road doesn’t usually bode well for you or the other drivers around you.

Wintertime accidents can be deadly

Regardless of how prepared you are for the winter roads, an accident can happen to anyone. And because of the rough weather conditions during these cold months, many crashes result in serious — and sometimes even fatal — injuries. Make sure you know what legal options are available to you if you or a loved one are involved in a wintertime car accident.