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Minnesota Law Blog

What every Minnesota driver should know about black ice

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It's a little like carbon monoxide: You can't see it, can't smell it, can't taste it, but when it sneaks up on you, the results can be deadly.

Black ice is perhaps the most dreaded killer on wintry Minnesota roads. It's more dangerous than snow or slush. Despite its ominous sound, however, it's the subject of many misconceptions. Here's what every driver should know to stay safe in black-ice conditions.

Traumatic brain injuries in hockey: More common than you'd think

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It's one of Minnesota's most iconic sports. But it's not without risks.

Ice hockey is among the most dangerous team sports in terms of traumatic brain injuries. In fact, it ranks right up there with football for the highest rates of concussions, which a growing mountain of research has shown to cause serious long-term effects.

E. coli outbreak hits just in time for Thanksgiving

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Thinking of serving Caesar salad at your Thanksgiving table? You might want to rethink your menu - or at least go for a different type of green. For the second time this year, a widespread E. coli outbreak has led grocers across the country to pull romaine from the shelves.

The Star Tribune reports that 32 confirmed cases have arisen in 11 states. Though none are in Minnesota (yet), it's important to err on the side of safety when it comes to this potentially life-threatening illness - especially amongst those most vulnerable. Pregnant women, children and the elderly should steer well clear of potential contaminants. In an abundance of caution, the CDC is warning consumers to avoid romaine entirely.

How to prep your car for winter

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For better or worse, Minnesota is famous for its long winters. We are used to temperatures that dip well into the negative and double-digit snowfalls. Driving in a Minnesota winter is a unique challenge. Black ice and snow buildup make even the shortest commute interesting.

While we all must drive through winter, there are some things we can do to make the experience a little safer. By taking a few proactive steps, you can prepare for the worst that winter has to offer.

Six winter driving tips to keep you safe in snow

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The temperatures have dropped, and the first snowfall has gilded the ground. Winter seems to have officially arrived in Minnesota. With the holidays right around the corner, many Minnesotans are going to be on the roads traveling back and forth to holiday get-togethers.

Though most Minnesotans are used to driving in snow and ice, it never hurts to brush up on a few winter driving tips. Here are six ways to drive safer on snow and ice this winter.

Should penalties for distracted driving be harsher?

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We all know that drunk driving is bad. There's even a stigma to it. Sure, a single DUI might not derail a career, but repeat offenders - or those who cause serious injuries or death - are taken extremely seriously.

Distracted driving doesn't have that same stigma, even though studies have shown it to be just as deadly as driving drunk, contributing to a quarter of all crashes. Perhaps it's because we all do it to some extent. Yet some make a habit out of using their cellphones behind the wheel, and that's when the risk multiplies.

A mother's dismissed concerns lead to lasting injuries for baby

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Childbirth is a significant moment and one that many women spend a lifetime dreaming about. Many laboring women commit to following a predetermined birth plan while others are comfortable making decisions in the moment.

What is true for most women is that they typically feel listened to by medical professionals. That was not the case for a Minnesotan woman who was recently awarded $8.9 million after she claimed her midwife's negligence resulted in lifelong injuries to her son.

E-scooters aren't all fun and games

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They're convenient, eco-friendly and - we'll admit it - fun. Shared electric scooters are all the rage in major cities nationwide, including Minneapolis and Saint Paul, where they arrived over the summer. They're the latest trend in the "micro-mobility" movement that seeks to fill the gap left by mass transit.

Yet they're not all fun and games. The risks of using them range from accidents to assaults.

Minnesota State Fair: Safety tips for making the most of your visit

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State Fair season is officially upon us. For many Minnesotans, the Fair is more than just an annual tradition that heralds the end of summer. It holds a cherished place in our hearts. And so we spend endless hours exploring the colorful grounds, navigating shoulder-to-shoulder crowds, hopping on rides at Mighty Midway, gaping at birthing sows and wandering down aisles of alien-looking chicken breeds - all while stuffing ourselves silly with every imaginable food on a stick.

As we approach the final weekend of the Great Minnesota Get-Together, take a moment to brush up on some basic safety tips to make your visit a more enjoyable experience.

Why all Minnesota drivers should adopt the zipper merge

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If you've ever driven through road construction in Minnesota, you know this familiar sight: cars lined up in a single lane, bumper-to-bumper, miles ahead of a merge. Dare to drive in the open lane, zooming ahead of the line, and you'll likely be met with honks and glares. Yet they're actually the ones in the wrong.

While lining up may seem "Minnesota nice," it can cause major traffic jams and safety issues. Instead, drivers should adopt the zipper merge.

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