Winter is here in full force in the Twin Cities, and whether this is your first winter here or your fiftieth, now is the time to really start implementing safe driving practices. Operating your vehicle as safely as possible on the road will dramatically reduce your risk of being involved in a snow- or ice-related collision. And, of course, safe winter driving practices will also minimize your chance of needing any auto body repairs throughout the snowy season.

At Minnetonka Collision Center in Plymouth, we understand just how much an accident can upend your life, and that’s why we're huge advocates of safe driving. Here are six winter driving practices to help you stay safe on the road this season.


Want to significantly reduce your chances of needing auto body repairs throughout the winter season? Then you’ll want to be sure to practice the following tips each time you hit the road:

● Take it slow. With snow and ice on most roadways, it’s in your best interest to drive slower than you normally might. Leave the house 10-20 minutes earlier to ensure you get where you need to go on time.

● Be careful with your brakes. If you’re driving on ice and snow, slamming on your brakes could end in disaster. Often, it’s better to simply take your foot off the gas to slow down or pump your brakes so you don’t end up sliding around on a slippery roadway.

● Keep a safe distance. Always keep at least three seconds of distance between the front of your vehicle and the rear of the vehicle in front of you. When it’s slippery out, it’s never a bad idea to increase that distance to five seconds.

● Keep cruise control off. Cruising with your foot off the pedals can be dangerous when roads are slippery. During winter, avoid using cruise control as you never know when you might encounter something unexpected and cruising can make it tough to slow down in time.


If you’ve spent years driving around in winter weather, you know just quickly accidents and unexpected situations can arise on the road. That’s why it’s so crucial that you prepare your vehicle with the supplies and tools you might need to safely handle the unexpected. If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to gather the following supplies and put them in a small tote inside your ride:

● A blanket or space blanket, perhaps two

● Jumper cables

● A powerful flashlight with working batteries and spare batteries

● Safety flares

● First-aid supplies

● Extra jacket, gloves, scarf, and thick socks

● A tow chain and a basic toolset

● Ice scraper

● Bottles of water and non-perishable foods

No one likes to think about it, but you never know if you might slide into a snow-filled ditch or end up stranded somewhere. Having the supplies above on hand will help you stay safe while you wait for a roadside assistance team to help you out.


If you haven’t already taken measures to ensure your vehicle is ready to handle tough winter weather, now is the time to get this done. Handling basic pre-winter vehicle maintenance will help ensure your ride doesn’t end up breaking down in the cold or having issues that may cause an accident. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

● Double-check the charge on your vehicle’s battery.

● Get your brakes checked out and serviced if necessary.

● Inspect windshield wipers and replace them if necessary.

● Double-check that your tires have adequate tread and consider using studded snow tires if you have a two-wheel-drive vehicle.

● Double-check headlights and taillight to ensure they all work.

● Check all fluid levels and top them up if necessary.

It’s also a good idea to periodically check the things listed above just to ensure your vehicle remains in sound working condition throughout the snowy season. Winter can be tough on your ride, so it’s always in your best interest to stay on top of vehicle maintenance.

While you’re here, check out How to Protect Your Vehicle From Rust This Winter as the risk for corrosion can skyrocket during this time of year.


If you’re involved in a collision this winter season, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Minnetonka Collision for an auto body repair quote. For more than 20 years, we’ve specialized in comprehensive high-end auto body repair for vehicle owners throughout Plymouth, Minnesota, and the surrounding Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, and we’re an insurance-preferred shop.

To learn more about us or get a free estimate, feel free to give us a call today at 763-230-7805 or request an estimate online, and we’ll be in touch.