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Safe Driving Tips in Massachusetts: Safety Issues Regarding Snow Plows

While It took a lot longer than usual for winter to get going in Massachusetts and across much of the Eastern United States, it seems that, at least for now, winter is finally here. We have already seen a least one snow event and are likely to see quite a bit more snow, as we typically do even in the mildest of Boston winters.

ice-1552892While driving on snow and ice is already dangerous enough, as discussed in a recent news feature from Danvers Patch, snow plows also present serious safety issues when out on the roads of the Commonwealth. One of the major issues is that the plows are very slow-moving vehicles, and drivers are not sure whether or not they should try to pass the plow or just accept it will take them a lot longer to get where they are headed.

The first tip to driving safely near a plow is to use your common sense. You should give a snow plow truck plenty of extra room and stay at least 70 feet back when a plow is in front of you. The reason for this is because if you are any closer, you are probably in the driver’s blind spot. You will also not have enough room to safety stop a plow you are about to overtake and that could result in a serious motor vehicle accident.

If you are planning to pass a plow, you should never pass on the right, as the plow driver will not be able to see you, and the plow will be throwing snow to its right in your lane of travel. You should also remember that the road in front of the plow is probably in a lot more dangerous condition than the road that has already been plowed. As you speed ahead of the plow, you might pass it only to find you are in very dangerous snowy and icy conditions with the large plow coming towards you.

Many plows in Massachusetts will also have large loads of salt on the back of the truck, and this makes them extremely heavy. A heavy vehicle filled with sand, salt, or gravel can take a very long time to stop on icy roads. This may be more that a football field before the vehicle is able to come to a complete stop. If you pass the plow and cut in front of it, and then you are forced to stop, there is good chance the plow will not be able to stop in time, and this would likely result in a serious Boston car accident.

Another helpful winter driving tip involving snow plow safety involves a situation where the plow is coming toward you in the opposing lane. This is not an ordinary vehicle, and roads are likely in very bad condition. You should basically treat the plow like any other vehicle and get as far over to the right as possible. This does not mean you must come to a complete stop, as is the case with a true emergency vehicle, but it is a good idea to give the plow driver plenty of room.

If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Should You Pass Plows? Top Safe Winter Driving Tips, Danvers Patch, December 28, 2015, Linda Bock

More Blog Entries:

Pedestrian Dragged Hundreds of Feet in Car Crash – Western Massachusetts, June 13, 2015, Boston Car Accident Attorney Blog