We’re in the middle of winter in Minnesota. We’re lucky enough to have snow plow drivers that work for days on end to clear the roads so we can get where we need to go.
When you travel in the winter in Minnesota, respect the road conditions, the forecast, and especially, those snow-heroes who clear our roadways.
The state Department of Transportation reminds us of the following about snow plow safety:
Be patient, stay back, stay alert, slow down.
1. Before you ever get in the vehicle, get current road conditions by calling 511 or visiting 511mn.org.
2. Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
3. Turn off your cruise control. If your car unexpectedly accelerates, you may spin out.
4. Slow down; allow at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow.
5. Stay behind the snowplow. The road behind a snowplow is safer to drive on.
Watch for snowplows that turn or exit frequently, and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
6. Be cautions of snowplows operating near intersections and never pull up behind them. They back up frequently and may not see you.
7. Never drive into a snow cloud.
Snowplows travel much slower than the posted speeds because it is most effective for clearing roads. The driver’s field of vision is severely restricted behind the truck, and the driver must rely on mirrors to see to the rear and side of the truck.
Don't forget, we're in the storm together. Be patient with the snowplows and drive according to road conditions.
There are no state laws that prohibit passing a snowplow. However, it can be very dangerous to pass a plow. Snowplows have wing plows that can be on the left or right side of the truck and can extend from 2-10 feet beyond the width of the truck. It can be difficult to see the wing if there is a snow cloud.
Be patient, and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.For more safety tips, go to www.dot.state.mn.us.