Snow, sleet and freezing rain are already pounding Connecticut. Temperatures under the freezing mark may continue for Bridgeport and the surrounding areas. In fact, The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the next two months show snow, snow and more snow.

This weather may cause stores to close and children to miss school. It also brings out those who get up at the crack of dawn to ensure that the roads are safe for drivers who must get out in the winter mess.

Safety practices

Snowplow drivers put themselves in dangerous situations when plowing snow-covered roads. Not only must their focus be on the road in front of them, but they must also be aware of those who are not paying attention. If you must be on the streets, here are some tips to be mindful of when sharing the road with a snowplow.

  1. Snowplow drivers have limited visibility when clearing the roads. With the wind blowing, snow clouds are often thrown back and restrict vision. Staying clear of the snowplow may prevent the snow from blowing on you. The Connecticut Department of Transportation advises drivers to keep at least three car lengths behind the plows.
  2. Snowplows go slow. Trucks may go at speeds of 45 miles per hour or fewer when plowing and spreading salt. Their rate of speed may also depend on the road conditions. Take care when accelerating around the truck, as there may still be ice, and at higher speeds, your tires may lose their grip causing you to lose control.
  3. Do not pass on the right. You may run the risk of damaging your vehicle, hitting the snowplow or going off the road. On highways, snowplows have “wing” plows that extend an extra 8 feet from each side of the truck.

Snowplow drivers may spend 17 hours behind the wheel with very few breaks. They are on the road to keep you safe. Pay attention, and give the drivers a wide berth along with a little respect.