Sharing the Road with Snowplows

Don’t go out during a snowstorm if you can avoid it. If you do, buckle up – always.

If you must go out, here are some tips to share the road with snowplows:

  • Give snowplows room to work; don’t tailgate or try to pass
  • A “strike team” may include several plow trucks, some with TowPlows and wing plows, and block all lanes on a major highway.  
  • Stay at least four car lengths back from snowplows and equipment.
  • Plowed snow can create a cloud that can blind drivers following too close. 
  • Spreaders on trucks can throw salt, sand or cinders that can damage close-following vehicles. 
  • Salt brine trucks have a sign on the back warning motorist to “Liquid Salt, Stay Back.” That is for your safety as well as the drivers. They can’t see you and the brine sprays across three traffic lanes whether you are driving in them or not.  
  • Plow truck operators have to focus on snow removal and cannot always watch out for the drivers surrounding them, which means they may not see you if you try to pass or even collide with MoDOT equipment.
  • Drive even more slowly in construction zones, even though they are inactive in winter weather.  
  • Always have your headlights on, plenty of fuel and wiper fluid and tires with ample tread.

Remember that a snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they may not see you.