MN Dot again urging caution driving around snowplows
ST. PAUL, Minn. –There have been more than 25 crashes so far this winter involving vehicles and state snowplows. With winter far from over, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use extra caution during plowing and snow removal operations.
According to Todd Stevens, acting state maintenance engineer, the main causes of these crashes is motorists driving too fast for conditions, driving too close to the plow and driver inattention.
Stevens said that operators have a restricted view from the plow cab, so they must rely on mirrors to see to the rear and side of the truck. Their vision is also hampered by the snow clouds they create while they plow.
Last year in Minnesota, there were a total of 84 crashes involving vehicles and MnDOT snowplows.
Minnesota law requires motorists to turn on their headlights when it’s snowing or at any other time when weather conditions impair visibility.
Other recommendations for safe driving around snowplows include:
- Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning.
- Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow and don’t drive into a snow cloud.
- Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
- Turn off the cruise control.
- Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
- Don’t drive distracted.
Motorists can check road conditions anytime at 511mn.org.