(Mankato, MN) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to keep their distance around snowplows.

Jed Falgren, the maintenance operator with MnDOT District 7 says the rule of thumb is to stay ten car lengths behind a snowplow.  “Our trucks can weigh 15 times more than a vehicle, resulting in a very dangerous situation for the motorist.”  In addition to reduced visibility from snow or storm conditions, snowplow trucks create a cloud when clearing the roadways.

MnDOT says their snowplow operators do their part to make highway safe and ask that motorists do the following:

  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning.  They may also travel over centerlines to further improve road conditions.
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow.  Don’t drive into the snow cloud.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off cruise control.
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Check MnDOT’s road conditions map.

Four snowplows were hit in southern Minnesota during last Friday’s snowstorm, which dumped about 4-10 inches of snow in the southern region of the state.

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