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Winter weather means drivers should use caution near snowplows

Thu, Feb 6th, 2014
Posted in All State of Minnesota

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation reminds motorists to drive slowly near snowplows and give them plenty of room. In January, motorists struck seven snowplows in southeastern Minnesota, resulting in injuries to motorists, lost time and damaged vehicles.

Another chance of snow is forecasted this weekend and MnDOT’s 102 snowplows will be out in the 11-county southeastern Minnesota district before, during and after the storm.

This winter has been especially dangerous for snowplow operators in southeastern Minnesota with seven reported vehicle crashes with snowplows in January and 11 so far this winter. Fortunately, none of the crashes resulted in critical injuries to motorists. MnDOT’s snowplow operators have been uninjured, but equipment has been damaged.

MnDOT snowplow operators are doing their part to make highways safe. Motorists should remember to:

• Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip; it takes time to get roads back to good driving conditions.

• Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.

• Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.

• Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They may also travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.

• Check road conditions at www.511mn.org or call 511.

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to www.mndot.gov/workzone.

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