Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Ready Wednesday: Don't crowd the plow

Earlier in this blog series, we discussed how important snow plows are when it comes to combatting winter storms. When one of these winter weather tools is taken out of commission, it becomes an even bigger challenge to keep the roads open.

Last week, a KDOT snow plow was struck on I-70 as it was clearing the roads in Riley County. Fortunately, the KDOT snow plow operator was OK but the driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized and I-70 was shut down for approximately two hours as crews worked to clear the debris.

KDOT wants to remind drivers that during and after a winter storm, KDOT snow plows need extra room to safely clear the roads. Below is a video explaining what happens when a plow was struck a few years ago:

Troy Whitworth, Assistant to the Director for the Division of Operations, said that the most stressful time for a snow plow operator is when the roads start to improve and the lanes are mostly clear.

“Once the roads start to improve, the traffic speeds up,” Whitworth said. “Our trucks plow at slower speeds than the traffic around them for safety reasons. Sometimes even with the strobes flashing on our trucks the traffic will misjudge the speed difference. That is when the inattentive driver can end up in the ditch or impact our plow truck. “

Winter weather will be returning to the area soon.  Check out this video below for some tips when sharing the road with a KDOT snow plow:

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