Stay Safe Around Snow Plows on the Roads
We’re coming up on the end of Snow Plow Driver Appreciation
Week – and although there hasn’t been a need for them yet this season, snow is
inevitably in the future for us here in Wisconsin.
Sheriff’s Captain Bill Tadych points out that drivers would have a lot more issues if it weren’t for the
He says “they save a
lot, a lot of accidents and people take them for granted because all they see
is they’re going behind a big snow plow and it’s slowing them down. When in
fact, if they weren’t out there – they’d be going a lot slower or be in the
And while it is legal to pass a snow plow on the highway, he warns to be careful if you decide to make that move.
Tadych says “they’re
hugging the centerline to begin with, their wing extends outward and often
wings to the left, so you’ve got to be really careful when you’re passing them.
Also remember that the lane that you’re passing in – the opposite lane – might
not have been taken care of so it’s going to be potentially more slippery. So
you could wipe out when you’re trying to make that pass, and make sure that you
have ample space to complete that pass so you don’t clip the wing of the plow.”
When you are actually behind a plow, there are some statutes and guidelines to follow for safety reasons.
Tadych says that “when a snow
plow stops, you’ve got to make sure that you’re more than 20 feet behind them
because they’ve got a blind spot. And often times when they’re at that
intersection, they’re backing up to take care of that to broom that
intersection off. So it’s very important that when they stop, that you give
them – stay ample distance away from them so they know you’re behind them.”
And when you’re driving, Tadych tells us the rules and things to remember say “you’ve always got to stay a minimum of 200 feet behind that snow plow if the posted speed limit is greater than 35 miles an hour. If it’s less than that, you have to stay 75 feet behind them.”