How to Keep Everyone Safe on the Road—Including You

Mark Holman

8 Tips to Maintain Safety during a Snowstorm

By Mark Holman, Co-CEO

While safety is number one on your mind when you’re out plowing snow, there are drivers who will still try to get by you.

When there are impatient drivers, who are honking their horns, getting into your blind spot or just simply speeding up to get around you, you need to practice defensive driving, reduce your speed and keep getting the job done.

In this blog post, you’ll learn eight tips to maintain safety while pushing snow.

Do You Know How to Maintain Your Cool and Practice Safe Driving in Spite of Dangerous Drivers?

Newscasters and public officials warn drivers not to “crowd the plow,” and yet many drivers ignore this advice. Then you hear sad stories on the news about drivers who didn’t arrive home that day due to crashing into a snowplow.

And while most of these accidents can be avoided if drivers would keep three to four car-lengths behind your truck, you’re still at risk for a collision with a car.

Here are eight tips to keep you and other drivers safe while your plow snow this winter:

1. Stay alert: Don’t drive sleepy. It’s easier said than done because you’re driving in 12-hour shifts. But you’ll be able to be on top of your game as well as be more tolerant of impatient drivers when you feel rested and alert.

2. Know that there are drivers who will try to pass you: It’s inevitable, but you’ll probably have some drivers trying to pass you during a snowstorm. The warnings are posted, and yet there’s always a few who need to tempt fate. So, keep your cool and be aware of drivers passing you in your blind spots, and do everything in your power to avoid an accident.

Since you’ll be doing a lot of plowing at night, read these hacks for nighttime plowing and safety precautions.

3. Make sure drivers can see you: Make sure you have enough lights, reflectors and anything else that can make drivers see you.

4. Remember to pull over so drivers can pass you every few miles: It may not always be possible, but if you can pull over to let drivers pass you that will reduce the incidents of them unsafely trying to get around you.

5. Still, avoid property damage by being aware of stranded cars, mailboxes, fences and signs: It must seem overwhelming at times to try to keep an eye on motorists, pedestrians and hidden obstacles. When you’re on a stretch of roadway where there could be mailboxes, stranded cars, and other obstructions, pull back your plow wings to avoid hitting those obstacles.

 6. Watch your speed: Even though authorities remind motorists to watch their speeds during a snowstorm, you still need to be mindful of how fast you’re going. Help avoid collisions by driving at a safe speed to plow snow.

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 7. Wear your seatbelt: In most states, it’s the law. Wear your seatbelt to keep you safe in the event of a car crash.

 8, Look over your shoulder when changing lanes: Even though you already know this, it’s good to get a reminder. When you’re changing lanes, remember to look over your shoulder for anyone in your blind spots.

You do your best to keep everyone on the road safe by driving slow, having plenty of lights and reflectors, as well as pulling over every few miles so motorists can pass you.

But be aware that there will always be those drivers who try to get around you in the worst conditions, and do your best to avoid them.

Source:
Penney, Terry, “Snow Plow Safety Starts with the Plow Operator and then Extends to You, the Other Driver,” article found on LinkedIn.com: November 13, 2015.