When I heard how many of their snowplows MnDOT says have been hit already this winter I almost fell off my chair.

According to a story on KSTP-5, MnDOT says that 42 of their plows have been hit by another vehicle so far this winter, and that's on top of 84 similar events last year.

This comes in the wake of a MnDOT plow being struck from behind by a semi Thursday near Rochester, rolling the plow in the ditch. Neither the semi or plow driver was hurt.

MnDOT urges us to follow these safety tips involving snowplows:

  • Yield to snowplows. They travel slower than posted speeds.
  • Give snowplow drivers plenty of room to do their jobs.
  • Never drive into a snow cloud.
  • Slow down! Never use cruise control on wet or icy roads.
  • Stay alert. A snowplow weighs 17 times more than a car. In a crash, occupants of a car are much more likely to be seriously injured.
  • Be patient. Follow at a safe distance. Allow at least five car lengths between your vehicle and a snowplow.

Is it Legal to Pass a Snowplow in Minnesota?

MnDOT says: There are no state laws that prohibit you from passing a snowplow. However, it can be very dangerous to pass a plow. Snowplows have wing plows that can be on the left or right side of the truck and can extend from 2-10 feet beyond the width of the truck. It can be difficult to see the wing if there is a snow cloud. The majority of crashes involving snowplows happen when a snowplow is rear-ended or hit when being passed.

MnDOT has 840 snowplows and more than 1,800 full-time and part-time snowplow drivers. Thank you to each and every one of them!

With more snow on the way this week, keep this in mind when you're out on the roads. The snowplow is always going to win the fight. Stay safe!

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