IDAHO — Following six snowplow accidents in the past two weeks and with more snow in the forecast for parts of Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department is reminding drivers to safely share the roads with snowplows.
“It’s definitely concerning for all of us here at ITD,” Jillian Garrigues, ITD Public Information Officer said.
All six of the crashes were caused by cars driving recklessly around snowplows, according to ITD. Four of them were caused by cars trying to pass plows on the right and the two others caused the plows to go off the road, all of which could have been prevented if drivers slowed down.
“Give them plenty of room, and remember the safest place for you to be is behind the plow because that is where the road is going to be treated and clearest," Garrigues said. "So take advantage of those clear conditions while they are working.”
ITD recommends not passing a snowplow but said that if you need to, do not do it on the right side.
“That is where a wing plow could extend. You have the front plow and then a lot of the trucks have a wing plow that comes down on the side of the truck as well, and you might not see that when you are directly behind that snowplow," Garrigues said. "That is where most of the crashes happen when someone is trying to pass the snowplow on the right side and they run right into that and it creates a dangerous position for drivers and snowplow drivers.”
Every winter Idaho has 550 snowplow operators and around 425 snowplows working to keep our roads safe throughout the whole state, and when accidents like these happen, it takes a resource off the road.
“Usually these guys are working during those snowstorms when you see snow falling, so when one gets hit it takes it out of operation and stretches those resources thin," Garrigues said. "It makes those roads not as safe for everyone when this happens.”
Before traveling, ITD recommends checking road conditions and the cameras at 511.idaho.gov.