NORTHEAST, Ind. (WOWO) – The Indiana Department of Transportation yellow trucks are all out and set for the upcoming snow set for today. INDOT would like to warn everyone to be cautious when traveling during the upcoming winter weather as we are expecting one to six inches of snow.
The northeast Indiana INDOT district services 17 counties and will have crews out in 12-hour shifts to clear and treat our roads. They want everyone to know a few things when driving behind plow trucks during the snow. Such as, it is always safest behind the yellow plow trucks.
- Don’t crowd the plow. The front of the plow extends many feet in front of the truck. It may cross the centerline and shoulders while plowing.
- Don’t assume the plow driver can see you. A plow driver’s field of vision is very limited — you may see them, but they may not be able to see you.
- Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind a plow. Plow trucks are usually releasing salt from the back of the truck. Often, the trucks stop or take evasive action (to avoid a stranded vehicle or animal). Snow plows create a cloud of snow that reduces visibility. Don’t travel too closely — leave four to five car-lengths ahead.
- Use caution to pass. Try not to travel beside a plow for too long — when plowing through a snow drift or packed snow, the impact can move the plow trucks sideways. If you have to pass a plow, do so on the left side — plows typically move snow to the right as lanes are cleared. They also turn and exit the road frequently.
- Snowplows travel slower. Plow trucks travel approximately 30-35 mph when they’re removing snow and ice. Allow plenty of time to stop or slow down when you’re behind one of our yellow trucks.
Often times drivers aren’t prepared for winter driving and forget to slow down as this is the first major snow event this winter. The first major snow storms of the year often bring more crashes and slide-offs as drivers have to get re-accustomed to driving in snow. INDOT wants to give everyone some tips while driving through winter weather.
- Reduce speeds. Remember, “Ice and snow, take it slow.” Nobody should be driving interstate speeds in winter weather.
- Plan plenty of time to reach your destination safely and be patient. Don’t put yourself and others in a dangerous situation by being in a rush.
- Keep a safe distance. Make sure your vehicle is following at a safe distance to stop. Do not tailgate, especially around snow plows, and try not to pass.
- Pay attention. Avoid all distractions and focus only on the task of driving safely. Be aware of your surroundings, drive defensively and be alert for others who are not driving safely.
Drivers are encouraged to check road and traffic conditions before deciding to drive at the Indiana Department of Transportation website, call 1-800-261-ROAD or on the INDOT mobile app. Color-coded maps for travel advisories can be found on the Homeland Security website.