ITD offers tips for driving safely around snowplows

As winter weather rapidly approaches, ITD reminds motorists to use caution when traveling the state's highways during inclement weather and to cooperate with highway workers clearing the highways. 

When driving near snowplows keep a few safety tips in mind:

  • Remain two car lengths behind snowplow trucks for every 10 mph you drive. Sand being spread by trucks can damage your vehicle.
  • Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must pass, do so only when you can clearly see the road ahead. Do not pass on the side where the plow is spraying snow. If you do, the snow's force can knock your car out of control.
  • Do not cut back immediately in front of a snowplow truck. The plow blades are often covered with snow and can be difficult to see.
  • Do not brake suddenly if you are traveling in front of a snowplow. The heavy vehicle cannot stop as quickly as an automobile.
  • Do not abandon your car unless it is absolutely necessary. However, if you must, leave it as far off the road as possible. Abandoned cars can interfere with the road clearing process and can be extremely hazardous to snow removal equipment and the operators if they are hidden or buried by snow.
  • Be aware of potential icy areas such as shady spots, ridges and overpasses. Since they are exposed on their undersides, bridges and overpasses are deprived of ground warmth and freeze more rapidly than the roadways leading to them.

For the latest highway and weather conditions call the Idaho Traveler Information Service at 5-1-1. For online updates, visit the Idaho Traveler Information Service Web site at Telephone and Web reports are available 24 hours a day and are updated as conditions change.

Published 11-19-2010