These Snowplow Tips From MNDOT Could Save Your Life
THE MINNESOTA SLOW DOWN
We live in a world of impatience, and in Minnesota, we know that patience is an absolute must on our roads. That doesn't mean that we HAVE patience. Take, for example, my most recent frightening experience traveling to Princeton on a snowy day.
THE DANGERS OF PASSING A SNOW PLOW
On a blustery afternoon, I was driving to Princeton. My vehicle was behind 3 other cars, with about 5 more behind me, when we came upon a snowplow clearing Highway 95 heading East.
You would have thought this was the end of the world for the cars and trucks behind this plow. If you've ever traveled Hwy 95, you know that there are not a lot of safe places to pass vehicles. Winter makes it especially tricky because you can't see the lines on the road that show the areas where no passing is allowed. I stayed behind one other car that was not about to pass this plow, but 2 vehicles in front of us, and all the vehicles behind us took the risk and passed the plow. I couldn't see anything in front of me, so I don't know how they could. At the end of the day, what did it accomplish? They all managed to pass safely, but there were a couple of close calls.
IS IT ILLEGAL TO PASS A SNOWPLOW IN MINNESOTA?
Although it's not illegal to pass a snowplow in Minnesota, it's pretty darn risky. According to MnDOT, The Minnesota Department of Transportation, most accidents with snowplows happen when a plow is rear-ended or hit when someone is trying to pass them. In windy conditions, it's really hard to see the wing plows on a snowplow that can be extended anywhere from 2 to 10 feet on either side of the truck.
I'll never understand risking your life, and the life of others, to pass a slow-moving vehicle. That being said, I know you don't want me to preach to you about leaving extra early so you can plan for things like this to happen because I never do; BUT...I'd rather be late than kill someone. Period.