January 27, 2023

Fast Facts about driving near snowplows

The safest place to be is behind the plow.

Snowplow drivers with the Idaho Transportation Department clear about 13,000 lane miles of highways across the state. Plowing snowy and icy roads is a difficult job, but one of the biggest dangers is other drivers. If you’ve never encountered a plow on the roads before, here are a few tips to keep you and the plow driver safe.

An illustration of a snowplow.

Snowplows take up an entire lane. The front plow is 12 feet wide, and the wing plow is 10 feet wide.

An illustration of a snow plow and its blind spots.

Plows are big vehicles with large blind spots, so give them lots of room to work…

Seriously, lots of room to work.

An illustration of a snow plow and cars driving too close.

So, don’t crowd the plow, and don’t tailgate because there is a salt spreader in the back.

An illustration of the back of a snowplow showing the wing plow on the right side.

Watch out for the wing on the right side of the plow. Do not try to pass a plow on the right side. Two things can happen if you pass on the right; either you hit the wing plow, or fast-moving snow from the front plow will push your car sideways, causing a spin out. 

Remember, when the roads are snowy, the safest place to be is behind the plow.

An illustration of a car driving a safe distance behind a snow plow.

More about what it’s like to drive a snowplow in Idaho…

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