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Watch out for plows on Iowa roads this winter

You may be ready for spring, but our recent weather shows no sign of its approach. If anything, Iowa seems to have even more snow in its future. Unfortunately, that means more accidents on the road. As if other cars weren’t enough of a problem, drivers also must watch out for dangerous snow plows.

Iowans need to keep a watch out for plows

The Iowa Department of Transportation estimates that an average of 46 cars have an accident with snow plows on Iowa roads every year. These accidents can be deadly. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind about snow plows:

  • Do not pass the plow. You may think you have plenty of room, but some plows have wide blades. You may not have a clear sight-line with all the blowing snow. Your best bet is to relax and follow the newly-plowed path.
  • Do not follow too closely. Snow plows can move slowly and stop often. Give them plenty of space. Your vehicle cannot compete with these 30-ton trucks in a rear-end collision.
  • Clear your tailpipe. If you are parked on the street and a plow covers your car in snow, be sure to clear your tailpipe of snow. A covered tailpipe can fill your car with carbon monoxide in minutes.

Remember that the plow drivers have a stressful job. They have limited visibility most of the time, and are working on icy roads for up to 12 hours at a time. They may be tired and cold, so be on the defensive and watch out for them.

Accident in Wisconsin serves as a safety reminder

The video has made its way around Twitter and onto many news channels. A driver in Wisconsin collided with the back of a snow plow at high speed, reminding us all to slow down in the snow. Snow plows kick up plumes of snow, making it hard to see them, even though they usually have flashing lights. The Wisconsin driver not only failed to watch for the snow plow, but was driving too fast for such wintry conditions.

Our Iowa roads will likely see a few more rounds of snow before this winter is over. Whether you love snow or can’t wait for spring, stay safe around snowplows on the road. Remember that they are providing an important service, and have a little patience. Arriving safely at your destination is worth the wait.

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Hixson & Brown, P.C.
160 South 68th Street
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West Des Moines, IA 50266

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