NDDOT: 5 snowplow accidents Monday
BISMARCK - Five state Department of Transportation snowplows were struck by motorists on Monday, according to a news release. There have already been 14 crashes this winter involving motorists and snowplows. An average winter season sees 10 to 15...
BISMARCK - Five state Department of Transportation snowplows were struck by motorists on Monday, according to a news release.
There have already been 14 crashes this winter involving motorists and snowplows. An average winter season sees 10 to 15 snowplow-vehicle crashes.
Snowplows have large blind spots at the back, both sides, and at mirror and door post positions, which make it difficult for the snowplow driver to see the motorist, the release stated. Snowplows are about the same width as the average driving lane, and they also create snow fog. Snow fog makes it virtually impossible to see around snowplows.
Safety tips for sharing the roads with snow plows include:
- Be extremely cautious when passing a snow plow. They can be moved sideways by drifts and hard snow pack.
- Never drive through "white-outs" caused by crosswinds or plowing light snow. Snow plows pull over and stop frequently to allow traffic to pass. Be patient and wait until you can see.
- Stay well back. Sometimes snow plows have to stop and back up and they often throw sanding material.
- Know where the plow is on multi-lane roadways. The plow could be in either lane or on the shoulder.
- Don't assume that you'll have good traction because the road looks sanded. The sand can sink into the snow pack, leaving a slick surface.
- Slow down and drive according to the conditions. Most winter crashes are caused by driving too fast for conditions.
- Be alert to changing road conditions. A slight drop in temperature can cause roads to become slick gradually and cause problems for unwary drivers.
- NEVER use cruise control if there is any potential for slippery road surfaces.
· Always wear a seat belt.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.