Snow is not uncommon here in the Mohawk Valley and neither is the sight of the snow plows. It's important to remember one thing while you're out there braving the roads this winter: the snow plows are out there to keep you safe.

As a driver, it's important to keep safety in mind when sharing the road with snow plows. According to Progressive, snowplows weigh four times more than the average car, and a collision with one can be deadly. The plows make the roads passable and reduce the risk of getting stuck in snow, so you need to use your head when sharing the road.

We've had many plow drivers reach out to us this year saying that this year has been worse than ever before. Drivers in the area are "failing" the test when it comes to driving this winter.

Here's some tips to remember going forward if you find yourself sharing the road with a plow.

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1. Do not pass

Passing a snowplow is a pretty bad idea, all things considered. They may be driving very slowly, but you are always better off following a snowplow than driving in front of one, because the road in front of them hasn’t been plowed yet!

Even if you have four-wheel drive, just let the snowplow do its job before you try to pass it. Some snowplows come equipped with specialized front and side plows. These side plows, called wing plows, jut out 10 to 12 feet on the side. If you pass them, you run the risk of not clearing the plows, especially if visibility is limited.

2. Follow at a safe distance

Snowplows need to go about 35 miles per hour to do a proper job. The slow speed may make you impatient, but you need to drive a safe distance behind them. Snowplows may need to stop or swerve abruptly to avoid obstacles, including stranded cars. They aren’t driving erratically, necessarily. Drivers are up against unpredictable conditions, and if you’re driving behind them, you will be as well. You need a safe following distance in case they need to stop suddenly or back up.

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