Sharing the Road with Snowplows
Every winter, vehicles collide with snowplows or lose control passing snow removal operations. Drivers often overestimate the speed plows are traveling and do not allow time to slow down.
Watch for White Outs - Some people take chances and drive through the snow-cloud created by the plow. These clouds can reduce visibility to zero. The reduced visibility can result in people striking the plow or even hitting a second plow truck working ahead of the first one.
Be Alert - People have attempted to pass MDT’s plowing operations and have hit snow berms created by the plow truck resulting in loss of control or even collisions. If the plow truck is hit, the truck and operator are taken out of service, passenger vehicles are damaged, and vehicle occupants may be seriously injured or killed. Only pass when it is safe to do so.
Be Patient - Snowplows generally operate at slow speeds to properly clear snow and spread sanding materials. When approaching a snowplow from the rear, reduce speed immediately. When approaching an oncoming plow, do not crowd the centerline. The plow operators know the road well and will pull over to let traffic pass as soon as it is safe to do so.
Did you know that some of our snowplows are equipped with cameras? When those plows are in use, you will see yellow snowplow icons on our MDT Travel Info map. Click an icon to see an image of what the driver sees as they are driving down the road.