When clearing snow from the roads, snowplows may create a snow cloud that makes it difficult for drivers of other vehicles to see them. It may also be difficult to see past the snowplows for oncoming vehicles.
Here are some safety tips when driving near a snowplow:
- Snowplows are equipped with flashing amber and red lights to make them more visible. Remember, "flashing amber and red means snowplow ahead".
- Maintain a safe following distance behind the snowplow. Most maintenance vehicles will have a sign at the rear to let motorists know the minimum safe following distance. Keeping this distance will give you more time to react to the unexpected, and avoid rock damage to your vehicle from the snowplow's sanding unit.
- Snow plow operators will move to the side of the road, where it is safe, every 5 to 8 kilometers to allow vehicles to pass. Even when passing is permitted, it is safer to stay well back until the snowplow operator can safely move over to allow vehicles to pass.
- Before passing a snowplow on a 2-lane highway (1 lane in each direction), be sure you can see far enough ahead and that passing is permitted by the road markings or signs.
When a snowplow is approaching from the opposite direction, look ahead in your lane carefully. There may be an oncoming vehicle that is passing the snowplow using your lane. Be prepared to use an escape route.