ODOT Shows What Can Happen When Motorists “Crowd the Plow”

Sat February 01, 2014 - Midwest Edition

Photo depicts the aftermath of a semi crashing into a snowplow on I-77 on Dec. 10.
Photo depicts the aftermath of a semi crashing into a snowplow on I-77 on Dec. 10.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is reminding motorists “Don’t Crowd The Plow.”

So far this winter, there have been at least 13 crashes involving ODOT snow plows including one in Washington County (as shown in the picture). In that crash, a tractor trailer rear-ended an ODOT snow plow on Interstate 77. Neither driver was seriously injured.

Statistics show that most crashes are preventable and are caused by drivers simply going too fast for the conditions or not paying attention.

“Our plow drivers work long hours in difficult conditions to keep motorists safe during the winter,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We are asking for motorists to do their part by giving snowplows room to do their job effectively.”

Statewide, more than 1,600 snowplow trucks and 3,000 drivers will be on state, U.S. and interstate routes at any given time over the weekend. When plowing and treating the roads, ODOT trucks travel between 30-35 MPH, well below the posted speed limit.

ODOT safety experts urge motorists to stay clear of snowplows by using the following tips:

• Distance — Give snowplows room to work. Don’t tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow cloud. Also slow down for oncoming snowplows; snowplows plow far and wide.

• Speed — Snowplows travel below the posted speed limit. Be patient. Remember “Ice and Snow…Take it Slow.”

• Vision — A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they don’t always see you. Keep your distance and watch for sudden stops.

• KNOB4UGO — Before you get behind the wheel, remember to visit www.ohgo.com for winter road conditions in your area.