You would think  that native Northlanders would know a thing or two about how to share the roadway with snowplows but every winter brings crashes and mishaps that wouldn't have happened if drivers practiced a little safety and common sense.  In order to promote that safety, officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation are sharing some tips to help keep everyone safe.

First and foremost, MNDOT urges drivers to turn their headlights on.  Minnesota law requires it when it's snowing or at any time when the weather conditions impair visibility.  That said, plow drivers still see many people on the roadways without headlights on.  They also encourage drivers to completely brush the snow off of the vehicle - especially the windows, but also areas like the hood, trunk, and bumpers - where it can be easily blown off once you hit the roadway.

Here are some other safety tip from MNDOT:

  • Stay alert.  Snowplows turn and exit frequently and often with little warning.  They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.  They also usually drive slower than the posted speed limit - an action that helps improve snow clearing technique.
  • Stay back.  Make sure that you're at least ten car lengths behind the plow.  Don't drive into a snow cloud.
  • Slow down.  Operate your vehicle at a speed that's safe for the conditions.
  • Wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Be patient.
  • Don't drive distracted.  Don't use cell phones or other electronic devices.

For a quick and easy look at the road conditions 12 months out of the year, click here for 511mn.org.