Officers have seen a spike in injuries alongside roads, after cars became stranded on the highway. 

In a number of incidents over the past few weeks, drivers got out of their vehicle after it stopped working. When they stepped out, they were struck by another motorist. 

Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Troy Christianson said it is important to set a preliminary plan and follow it.  
"Right now we're seeing an increase in people being struck outside their vehicles, so if you do go in the ditch, make sure the exhaust pipe is cleared, so you don't have any carbon monoxide issues," said Christianson. 

"And leave the window down a little bit, then get back in the vehicle and turn your hazards on, so your vehicle is obvious to other people."

Mankato Crank and Chrome Matt Raker said if people create preliminary plans and follow them, they will save themselves a lot of stress and possibly their lives.

"Kind of a protocol to follow [ emergency plan] if something happens, like if you have a flat tire," said Raker.  "People get panicky in that situation and then they kind of lose their heads and stop thinking rationally." 

Law enforcement said people need to stay in their vehicles because the human body cannot tolerate cold weather conditions for long.

"If you are stranded along the roadway or if you do go in the ditch, it's important that you stay in the vehicle and know your location," said Christianson.

"It's  important that as you're driving, that you make sure you're aware of mile markers or exits you're at, so when you call 911, we're able to get help to you as soon as possible."

Some must-haves for your vehicle include a winter survival kit and a shovel to clear snow from the exhaust pipe.