Snowplow operators are on the road day and night, making sure everyone’s winter drive is safer. Clearing snow and laying down de-icers and winter abrasives requires the operators to reduce their speed. In order to operate safely, snowplow operators need fellow drivers to be extra cautious around them. Here are some tips on how to keep everyone safe:
- Don’t crowd the plow. Maintenance vehicles plow far and wide – sometimes very wide. The front plow extends several feet in front of the truck and may cross the center line and shoulders during plowing operations.
- Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind snowplows. Snowplows are usually spreading de-icing materials from the back of the truck. They may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid stranded vehicles. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it or use caution when passing. The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.
- Don’t travel beside a plow for long periods. When plowing through a snowdrift or packed snow, the impact can move the truck sideways.
- Snowplows can create a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Drive smart. Never drive into a snow cloud – it could conceal a snowplow.
- Snowplows travel much slower than the posted speeds while removing snow and ice from the roads. When you spot a plow, allow plenty of time to slow down.
- Watch for snowplows operating in either lane of travel or in pairs.
- A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.
- Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room.