TheColorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is encouraging motorists to be prepared for winter driving conditions. CDOT is urging drivers to give themselves extra time to travel to and from their destinations Friday. Drivers are also encouraged to be aware of snow plow operations, when maintenance crews are actively working to maintain the roadways.
“In order for our plows to remove snow efficiently and apply sand or deicing agents safely, a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour is required,” said CDOT Director of Highway Maintenance Kyle Lester. “That speed may seem slow to some drivers following a snow plow, but attempting to pass a plow is very risky. The ultimate advice to avoid causing a crash is simply to not crowd our plows.” When a plow is in a crash it can no longer maintain the roadways for everyone, he said.”
- Never pass on the right— Never a good idea! Many plows use a blade extension (wing plow) on the right hand side of the truck. The blade extends the plowing area towards the shoulder of the road, leaving no room to pass. Also, plows are designed to push all the snow, slush, rocks and other debris to the right of the truck. The flying debris will damage your vehicle and obstruct your view of the road.
- Never pass during tandem/echelon plowing — Tandem/echelon plowing staggers multiple plows to cover all lanes and clear the entire roadway in one coordinated sweep. This is the safest and most efficient snow removal method to clear the entire roadway. It is extremely dangerous for motorists to try and pass plows in this formation because you could encounter white out conditions, ridges of snow between lanes or get trapped between the snow plow trucks.
- Never tailgate— Plows need to drop deicer and sand, so make sure you stay back at least three to four car lengths of space. If you’re too close, your visibility is reduced and deicer and sand could hit your vehicle. You also never know when a plow might need to suddenly stop — make sure you have plenty of room to do the same.
STAY INFORMED: Road and weather conditions are available by dialing 511, 303-639-1111, or visiting www.cotrip.org.
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