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MN DOT Video: Winter Driving and Snow Plow Tips

Dec 27, 2018 02:42PM ● By Editor

From the Minnesota Department of Transportation - Posted December 27, 2018

Pay extra attention when driving in winter and approach snowplows with caution.

Did you know? Drivers speeding and not paying attention are the main causes of work zone crashes. Follow these safe winter driving tips:

  • Call 511 or visit before leaving on your trip to get current road conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off your cruise control.
  • Slow down; allow at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow. 
  • 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.
  • 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. Remember to:

  • Be patient, and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths between your vehicle and a plow. 
  • Stay alert 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.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.

Don't forget, we're in the storm together. Be patient with the snowplows and drive according to road conditions. Heavy traffic congestion affects snowplowing operations, so if you're stuck in traffic, so are the snowplows. See also our snowplow facts and snow removal techniques.

Watch the MN DOT snow plow safety video