ITD urges drivers to share the roadway

Plow clearing SH-6 near White Pine Campground

With a winter storm forecasted for the weekend, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) wants to remind drivers to share the road with snowplows.

Snowplows push snow off the road and deploy a variety of salt products to keep roadways bare and wet most of the time during storms. Drivers also need to do their part to keep everyone safe on the road.

“Slow down in snowy conditions, and give yourself extra time to get where you need to go this weekend,” Foreman Chuck Sharp said.

Aside from leaving early and using caution when driving in the snow, here are five tips to help share the road with snowplows:

  • Don’t crowd the plow. Stay back around 50 feet.
  • A snowplow has a 12-foot front plow and 10-foot wing plow and takes up the entire lane. Don’t crowd the centerline.
  • The safest spot is behind the plow. Only pass when safe to do so.
  • Never pass on the right.
  • Before traveling, check for road conditions that are updated 24/7.

While operators work in the worst weather, often the biggest threat to their safety is other drivers. Last winter, 17 plows were hit in Idaho.

“Plows weigh around 58,000 pounds fully loaded,” Sharp said. “Drivers who run into this heavy equipment trying to pass are risking their own safety, and the safety of others on the road when the plow isn’t able to continue working due to damage.”

Top 10 Winter Driving Tips

Top 10 Winter Driving Tip