During winter, drivers must not only cope with slick and icy roads, but also those large snow plows used to clear the roads for safer travels.

Indiana relies on a fleet of more than 1,000 snow plows to clear state roads in winter. Drivers often work 12-hour shifts, sometimes, resulting in fatigue. The actions of tired snow plow drivers could potentially lead to a serious collision with other vehicles. Serious and debilitating injuries are possible.

Do not follow too closely

Collisions between snow plows and cars are not uncommon. Each year, authorities investigate a few such incidents. Poor visibility contributes to some of the problems. Snow plows often are difficult to see due to the blowing snow and blustery conditions.

That is why it is so important to use caution when driving near one. Here are some crucial tips to consider when sharing the road with a snow plow:

  • Slow down, and do not drive too fast for conditions.
  • Do not drive too closely to a snow plow and do not drive alongside the truck. These large vehicles travel slowly, make wide turns and frequent stops and overlap into other lanes.
  • Always use caution when passing a snow plow.

Annually, more than 1,300 people die and close to 117,000 injured in crashes on slushy, snowy and icy roads, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that 17% of all motor vehicle collisions take place during winter conditions.

Tort claim, vigilance

You also have another legal option available if a government-owned vehicle – including a snow plow – collides with your car leading to damage and injuries. You may file a tort claim against the city or county and have 150 days to do so.

Please drive safely in the winter and remain vigilant when sharing the roads with large trucks such as a snow plow.