Minnesota saw its second snowfall of the winter season over the weekend. Duluth got nearly five inches, while Minneapolis saw only one.
Unfortunately, drivers did not adapt well to this light dusting of snow, which was accompanied by severe winds that gusted at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Multiple car crashes were captured by traffic cameras and posted by MN Safety, a YouTube channel that uploads videos of notable events along the state’s roadways.
One clip shows a man jumping aside at the last second as a car slides off the road and in his direction. Another shows a six-car pileup that occurred along an especially narrow section of road.
One car even collided with a power pole in Minneapolis, snapping it off and causing a large power outage that impacted an area that was nearly a mile long, according to Crime Watch Minneapolis.
These were far from the only crashes to occur. Over 260 vehicles were involved in collisions across the state during an 18-hour period that coincided with the snowfall. “Everyone is a rookie on the first snow,” observed a local driver.
While 26 people were injured, nobody was killed.
Multiple car crashes near the outset of winter is not uncommon in Minnesota. The last time it snowed, similar chaos ensued.
Experts suggest this isn’t a uniquely Minnesotan phenomenon either. Rather, small car crashes are about 15% more likely to occur during the first snowfall of winter. Roads are more dangerous during the winter time not only because of the snow, but because it gets darker sooner, meaning more drivers are commuting in dim conditions. More people traveling around the holidays puts more cars on the road, further contributing to an increase in accidents.