|Indiana, PA (March 21) - PennDOT Engineering District 10 is reminding motorists of the importance of driving safely around winter maintenance equipment. This winter, District 10's five County Maintenance Offices have had 19 PennDOT vehicles struck by motorists on area highways between October 2004 and March 2005.|
Of the 19 crashes, seven involved motorists striking PennDOT maintenance vehicles from the rear. The remaining crashes involved motorists losing control while attempting to pass or striking the plow truck after driving too fast for conditions and losing control of their vehicles.
PennDOT crews are out because they have an important job to do. When a PennDOT vehicle is involved in a crash, the vehicle is no longer able to perform its important function thus interrupting the delivery of our important winter services.
Motorists can help their own safety their by following these simple rules when sharing the road with winter maintenance equipment:
- STAY BACK: Maintain at least six car lengths to avoid collisions and damage from flying anti-skid materials and salt.
- BE PATIENT: Remember that PennDOT crews are trying to serve the best interests of their customers. Snowplow drivers are working to make the roadways as safe as possible for all motorists.
- BE VISIBLE: Motorists should turn on their headlights and move slightly to the left side of the lane to make sure the snowplow driver can see them.
- BE CAUTIOUS: The average snowplow truck weighs 50,000 pounds while the average car weighs about 3,000 pounds. Motorists should be extra careful and not take chances around snowplows.
- REDUCE SPEED: Snowplows travel slower and often stop and back up. Be aware and stay aware. Do not pass a snowplow until it has reached a clear area and has pulled completely off the highway.
- ALLOW SPACE: Don't travel next to a snowplow. Snowplows can suddenly shift from hitting snow drifts and heavy slush.
"PennDOT makes sure that every piece of equipment we operate is highly visible to other motorists," said District Executive Richard H. Hogg. "Our crews are doing everything in their power to make everybody's trip safe. These men and women deserve our respect and patience," Hogg added. "We are asking motorists to please be more careful around PennDOT winter maintenance vehicles."
Remember to make safety your top priority, slow down and use caution around PennDOT equipment.