Idaho Transportation Department confirms 9 snowplow collisions this season

Snowplow plowing snow
File photo of a snow plow. 

COEUR D’ALENE, Wash. — So far this season, drivers have caused nine crashes with snowplows in Idaho. The Idaho Transportation Department wants this number to stay as small as possible.

ITD is calling on drivers to be more cautious for the rest of the season, and gave a few tips while the plows are still on the road.

  1. Never pass a plow on the right. Plows have a smaller wing plow that extends to the right side, which can be hard to see when snow is flying. Drivers passing on the right side of plows is the most common plow-related crash.
  2. Give plows room to work and avoid their blind spots.
  3. Be patient, and stay behind the plow.
  4. Never get in between plows when they are clearing multiple lanes.
  5. If you are involved in a plow crash, stay in your vehicle for your safety and the plow operators’ safety.

The seventh and eighth crashes with snowplows occurred in North Idaho on Tuesday. The first occurred on I-90 near Coeur d’Alene, and the second on Highway 95 south of Athol.

“This issue affects everyone, not just the people involved in the crash. Every plow that is hit causes a domino effect making conditions worse,” said Operations Foreman Shannon Thornton. “There are fewer plows on the road to deal with the snow that is still falling, and our crews have to spend precious time recovering equipment instead of plowing.”

Last winter there were 11 plow strikes in Idaho, and ITD wants to not pass that number this year.

For more winter driving tips, click here.

READ: How to prepare your car for upcoming cold temperatures