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Snow plow drivers also want to get home safe

Snowplow drivers are critical to the safe operation of more than 115,000 miles of state and local roads throughout Wisconsin. Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed Nov. 25, as Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day, to thank the many winter maintenance professionals who work long hours in tough conditions, to help keep life on time for everyone else.

“Snowplow drivers spend countless hours away from their families, so that we can all make it home safely to ours,” said WisDOT secretary-designee Craig Thompson. “Every clear winter road is a product of dedicated public servants, who care deeply about safety in their communities. Their work helps to prevent crashes and save lives, and we can’t thank them enough.”

As part of a century-old partnership, the WisDOT contracts with all 72 county highway departments for winter maintenance on state roads.

Every driver can thank Wisconsin plow drivers by staying safe on the road this winter and adhering to the following tips:

• Before traveling, call 511 or go online (, to check on road conditions and possible incidents. Consider downloading the 511 Wisconsin smartphone app.

• Buckle up, watch what’s happening ahead and allow plenty of following distance.

• Most traffic crashes in winter are caused by drivers going too fast for conditions. Posted speed limits apply when travel conditions are ideal. Drivers are advised to slow down when roads are slick or visibility is reduced.

• Stay at least 200 feet behind a working snowplow. Make sure that you can see the plow’s mirrors, to ensure the driver can see you.

• If you must pass, be careful. Snowplows often create a cloud of snow that can obscure vision. Remember that road conditions in front of the plow will likely be worse.

• Don’t be over-confident if operating a four-wheel or allwheel- drive vehicle. They still require a considerable distance to stop on slick roadways.

• During major winter storms, postpone or cancel a trip. Stranded motorists and vehicles become hazards that interfere with snow removal efforts.