BOISE, Idaho — With snow in the forecast for several areas in Idaho, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is reminding drivers how to travel with snowplows on the road.
ITD says in the past two weeks, there have been four crashes where drivers hit plows and two incidents of drivers forcing plows off the road. Most of the crashes happened after other drivers tried passing plows on the right, according to ITD.
Most ITD trucks have two plows, one in front and one that extends from the right side. Lights notify drivers if there is a plow on the right side, but during storms, those lights and plows can be obscured by the snow.
ITD says the following crashes have happened so far this year:
- On Dec. 9, a plow was hit on Interstate 90 near the Rose Lake exit when a driver tried to pass on the right.
- On Dec. 14, a plow on U.S. Highway 95 near Moscow was forced off the road to avoid hitting a vehicle that had lost control and was in the opposing lane.
- On Dec. 16, a plow was hit on U.S. Highway 20 near Ashton and on Interstate 84 near Twin Falls. Both incidents involved drivers trying to pass on the right.
- On Dec. 16, a plow on US-95 near Winchester was forced off the road to avoid hitting a vehicle that had lost control and was in the opposing lane.
Last winter, eight plows were hit by other vehicles. In just the last two weeks, four plows have been hit. Most of the collisions were a result of drivers trying to pass on the right.— ITD (@IdahoITD) December 20, 2021
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The latest crash happened Monday morning when a plow on I-90 near Osburn was hit when another vehicle tried to pass on the right, hit the right-side plow and forced the plow off the road. The driver left the scene and the Idaho State Police are investigating.
No one has been injured in any of these incidents but plows must be checked for damage before being put back in service. When plows are being checked, resources are stretched thin and have an impact on driving conditions.
“This time of year drivers need to take their time and never pass a plow on the right,” said Jerry Wilson, the operations engineer for North Idaho. “Let’s all get home safely.”
If you're planning on hitting the road for the holidays, you'll want to check the road conditions before you leave. The Idaho 511 website shows you road maps all over the state, as well as areas where driving may be hazardous due to wind or blowing snow. You can see the road conditions for yourself by clicking on the dozens of camera icons.