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Driving Safety Tips for When You Approach a Snowplow

Posted on in Driving Safety

Waukegan Accident Lawyer

Here in the greater Chicago area, the average annual snowfall is around 36 inches. During winter, roadways throughout the state are regularly plowed. Snowplows help keep our highways and streets safe, but driving near them can cause a dangerous car accident.

On February 10, a man was fatally injured when a vehicle collided with a state snow plow. The driver of a Chevrolet Malibu lost control of his vehicle due to poor driving conditions and crashed into a snow plow truck that was parked on the edge of I-294. The back-seat passenger, a 20-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the scene. If you see a snow plow near you on the road, it is important to know how to react. 

Safe Driving Near Snowplows 

In 2018, more than 1,000 people were killed in motor vehicle collisions throughout the state of Illinois. Many of those collisions occurred during winter months in which driving conditions were far from ideal. Practicing safe winter driving can be critically important in ensuring the safety of your family, especially when driving near snow plows. 

Do Not Pass: In many instances, drivers feel the urge to pass snowplows. These trucks are forced to travel slowly because of the snow accumulation and the possibility of objects (stranded vehicles and pedestrians) on the road. The average snowplow driver usually travels at approximately 35 mph. While driving behind a plow can seem excruciatingly slow, the road conditions can be much more dangerous in front of them, and you are advised to drive behind. 

Keep a Safe Distance: When driving near snowplows, it is important to maintain a safe following distance. Snow plows regularly have to slow down or come to a complete stop, and they may shift from lane to lane. If you do pass a snow plow, make sure you have ample space between you and the plow when re-entering your original lane. The plow blade can extend 10 to 12 feet and cause severe damage to your vehicle. 

Make Your Vehicle Visible: Snow plow drivers often face limited visibility due to heavy precipitation. When driving near snowplows, always turn on your lights, even during daylight hours. By making sure you are visible, you substantially decrease the likelihood of a dangerous collision. If you see a snow plow approaching in the other lane of traffic, move to the farthest lane available. 

Contact a Waukegan Car Accident Lawyer

Every year, thousands of Illinoisans are injured in winter car accidents. In many cases, these are attributed to the negligence of a driver who caused a dangerous chain reaction crash. At Salvi and Maher, L.L.C., our legal team is here to secure the financial compensation you need to heal from all injuries suffered. To schedule a free consultation with a skilled Lake County personal injury attorney, call us today at 847-662-3303. 





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