DOT&PF Reminds Drivers to Travel Safely Around Equipment
Drivers should be on the lookout, snow removal equipment is out in force.
This week, in three separate incidents, vehicles ran into the back of snowplows while the plows were clearing roads. With these accidents in mind, and snowfall predicted statewide, the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF) takes this opportunity to remind drivers to travel safely, especially around snow removal equipment:
- Reduce your speed. Snowplows move slower than other traffic (5-35 mph), and may be completely obscured at times by blowing snow and blizzard-like conditions.
- Don’t assume snowplow drivers can see you. Stay a safe distance behind snowplows. During snow plowing operations visibility can be reduced by blowing snow.
- Pass only when you have clear vision ahead. On two-lane roads where traffic is not able to pass the plows, plow operators will pull over periodically to let vehicles behind them safely pass.
- Allow plenty of room when passing a snowplow. Do not cut back into the lane ahead of the plow too quickly as the blade extends several feet ahead of the truck.
- Drive as far away from the centerline as you safely can. When meeting a snowplow on a two-lane road; blowing snow may obscure the actual width of the snowplow’s blade. By driving as far as possible from the centerline you give the snowplow driver extra room.
- Turn on your headlights. It’s important that you can see and that you are seen.
- Don’t drive through “white out” conditions. These conditions are caused by the plowing of light snow or by cross winds Be patient. Conditions will change so you can travel and pass safely.
- Don’t travel beside a snowplow. They can be pulled sideways after hitting drifts or cutting through snow pack.
- Equipment often works in pairs. If you pass one piece of equipment on the road be advised that a second vehicle is probably ahead.
For more information on winter driving, including winter driving tips and road cameras, visit: www.dot.alaska.gov/winter-conditions.shtml
DOT&PF advises travelers to check road conditions before driving in Alaska by visiting 511.Alaska.Gov or calling 511.
Posted: February 21, 2011