SAFE IN 60

Safe In 60: How To Stay Safe Around Snowplows

Jan 4, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 8:07 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Keeping Utah roads clear of snow and ice is an around-the-clock job. Snowplow drivers are working hard to keep us safe as we drive, so here are some things we can do in return to help them.

Snowplows are not like any other vehicle on the road. They weigh more than four times an average vehicle and take up more than one lane.

Here are three things to consider when driving around snowplows:

  • Distance: Give them room to work. Snowplows are wide and can take up more than one lane.
    • Stay back at least 200 feet. Following too closely can result in a broken windshield or chipped paint.
    • Never tailgate, and do not pass a snowplow unless it is necessary. If you must pass, use extreme caution. Snowplows can create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision. You run the risk of not clearing what you cannot see. In addition, many trucks have wing plows that extend out 10-12 feet, making them even more dangerous to pass.
    • Never pass a snowplow on the right. That’s typically the direction the snow is thrown, making it extremely dangerous.
  • Speed: Plows travel below the speed limit and may need to stop or swerve abruptly to avoid obstacles. Be patient and give yourself plenty of room to react.
  • Vision: A snowplow driver has low visibility, and they may not see you. Always allow yourself a safe distance.

When driving around snowplows, it is best to be patient and stay behind them, even if there is room to pass. The road is probably much safer behind them than in front of them, anyway.

Check before you go – UDOT has a website that shows where its snowplows are and where they have been over the last half hour.

More information

Driving around snow plows (utahwinterdriving.org)
UDOT winter driving tips

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Safe In 60: How To Stay Safe Around Snowplows