Drivers in Wisconsin need no reminder as to how difficult it is to drive in hazardous conditions, but Mother Nature thought otherwise when she dumped nearly a foot of snow across most parts of the Upper Midwest over the weekend.

With blizzard conditions being reported across nearly every state between North Dakota and Michigan, it was no surprise when hundreds of reports of car accidents and spinouts came pouring in to local police.

The Minnesota State Patrol alone reported more than 600 crashes and more than 1,140 spinouts. Drivers in North and South Dakota faired slightly worse though as many of the interstates had to close because of the blowing and drifting snow.

Even with our advanced warning from the National Weather Service drivers here in Wisconsin were caught relatively off guard when accumulating snow and plummeting temperatures wreaked havoc across the state. This was especially true for commuters along I-94 near Menomonie when a semi jackknifed, which closed down the majority of the westbound lane.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how dangerous winters can get in the Upper Midwest until we have the first major snowfall of the year. For a majority of Wisconsin drivers, inclement weather means a heightened sense of vigilance at all times, but for some drivers, this may not be the case. Negligent driving habits can often times lead to serious accidents involving other vehicles which could end fatally. If the most recent snow storm is any indication of what’s to come, Michigan drivers may need to be aware of their surroundings more than ever.

Source: ABC News, “Snow Barges Back Into Upper Midwest,” The Associated Press, Dec. 10, 2012