Archived Story

Caution should be used around plows

Published 11:03am Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snow has covered the lakes area once again, and while winter weather can be fun, caution must be used while driving. Snowplows make winter driving possible in the northland, but these mighty machines can quickly become a hazard if motorists don’t take proper safety measures.

According to a release by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Snowplows travel slower than the posted speeds in order to properly get snow off the roads. The snow plow driver’s field of vision is also severely restricted behind the truck.

MnDOT has offered several safety tips for driving around snow plows. Motorists should keep headlights on and all occupants should be wearing seat belts. Cruise control should often times not be used in wintry driving conditions and should never be in use around snow plows. Keep the speeds down and allow for at least five car lengths between a vehicle and a snow plow.

The road behind the snow plow is generally much safer than in front. MnDOT urges drivers to stay behind snowplows and never drive into a snow cloud.

Even though Minnesota only had a few substantial snowfalls last year, 21 crashes still involved snow plows statewide.

Snow and ice removal account for tens of millions in state spending each year. In the 2010–2011 winter, Minnesota spent $81.1 million for snow and ice removal, the highest of any season on record. With all of the funding put into snow plows, it is important all motorists help he snow and ice removal process run as smoothly as possible.

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