COLUMBUS — With this week’s forecast calling for more freezing rain, ice and snow in many parts of the state, the Ohio Department of Transportation is cautioning Ohio drivers: Don’t Crowd the Plow.
So far this season, the department’s safety experts have counted 51 crashes statewide involving ODOT snow-plows and vehicles — including one fatal accident — since November.
Last winter, there were 83 crashes involving ODOT snowplows hit by vehicles that were either traveling too close to the plow or at speeds too fast for the road conditions.
Because snowplows are wide and travel at much lower speeds, drivers are asked to give the plows extra room to work, especially when winter weather arrives during morning or evening rush hours. Drivers should remember the following:
•Watch out for blind spots: The plow driver’s field of vision is limited. If you can’t see the plow’s side mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Always stay two to three car lengths behind the plow.
•Ice and Snow ... Take it Slow: Snowplows travel well below the posted speed limit, even slower on bridges and ramps. Be patient. Try not to pass the plow and remember, the snowplow makes sudden stops and turns.
•Beware of Snow Clouds: Snowplows often create clouds as they clear roads and shoulders. These snow clouds can reduce the ability to see.
Throughout the months of January and February, ODOT will be reminding drivers of this need to give plows room to work. At outlets across the state, the department will begin distributing materials with the simple message: Don’t Crowd the Plow.
Get the most up-to-date traffic information and 24-hour road conditions at www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. Click on the Ice and Snow ... Take is Slow logo for more of these safer winter driving tips.