With winter in full swing, we will surely see more snow fall in Alberta. This means that snowplow operators will be busy working long hours, ensuring our roads are cleared and safe.
Operating a snowplow requires training and education about the machine, as well as how to properly use it. Accidents can happen at any time, which is why we are huge proponents of ensuring people are trained adequately, especially when operating heavy machinery.
Along with educating those who operate heavy machines, like snowplows, it is also important for other motorists to understand proper safety when encountering one on the road.
What should you do when approaching a snowplow this winter? Let’s discuss!
Your first indication of a snowplow will be its flashing lights. When driving behind a snowplow, there will likely be reduced visibility due to the blowing snow. The first thing you will want to do is reduce your speed. When driving in the winter, especially in Alberta, you should never be in a rush and should always practice patience.
At the end of the day, the safety of you, and others, is most important. Allow yourself extra time when driving during certain conditions and expect delays.
It is important not to get too close to a snowplow, so be sure to leave approximately 15 meters between you and any large equipment on the road. Do not crowd or attempt to pass a snowplow. Operators will pull over when it is safe to do so, allowing vehicles to pass. When passing, ensure you have a clear view of any oncoming vehicles. If you aren’t sure, or don’t have an adequate sight line, it is best to stay in your lane until you know it is safe to pass. If you are in the oncoming lane, approaching the snowplow, stay aware of passing vehicles.
Remember that snowplow operators are often working in extreme conditions, to keep our roads safe for travel. Follow these steps and stay patient to help them safely complete their job, and to keep yourself out of harms way.
Driving in the winter can be challenging, and if it is possible, stay home when able to do so.
You can also check 511 Alberta for updated road conditions and plan your journey accordingly.
Drive safe this winter and thank you to the men and women who work long hours in the cold to help ensure our roads are clear and safe!