While you may get frustrated following a snowplow driving at a snail’s pace along the interstate, keep in mind that their work is making your commute a lot safer. The Maryland State Highway Administration offers the following tips and reminders when driving near a snowplow:

  • Don’t crowd the plow. Keep in mind that a snowplow needs lots of room to work. Give the snowplow driver plenty of room on all sides.
  • Don’t tailgate. Snowplows frequently carry a sign pleading nearby drivers to “stay back; stay alive.” This is in part because snowplows are spreading product on the ground that could kick up and hit a close-following vehicle.
  • Don’t drive next to a plow. A plow may be driving on the centerline or may take up more than one full lane of traffic. With that in mind, exercise extreme caution when attempting to drive next to or pass a plow.
  • Expect low visibility. Because snowplows frequently kick up snow, following a snowplow typically means you will have low visibility. Stay back from the cloud of snow.
  • Slow down. Snowplows drive slower than most traffic, so expect to slow down a bit when following a plow.
  • Don’t pass a snowplow train. Snowplows often work in conjunction to quickly clear Interstate 70 or the Capital Beltway. Never try to pass between a train of snowplows that are working closely together.
  • Watch for the plow. A snowplow driver has several blind spots and may not be able to see you, so it’s your responsibility to watch out for the plow and give the driver room.
  • Expect sudden changes. A plow may need to change direction to avoid an obstacle, clear a particularly stubborn spot, or get on or off the road.

For more safe winter driving tips, check out our library section, or call us at 800-875-9700 for more information.

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