Drivers warned to slow down in winter conditions

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An SUV hit a tow truck that was recovering a vehicle on I-90. Superior Volunteer Fire crews were called to the scene and posted a warning on Facebook to slow down and yield to emergency vehicles. (Photo courtesy of MDT)

The Superior Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a car crash on Sunday, Nov. 25 where a tow truck was recovering a vehicle on Interstate 90. During the process, an SUV plowed into the towing apparatus due to slick roads and low visibility. Department personnel posted on Facebook, warning drivers to slow down and remember to yield to emergency vehicles. The wreck occurred near Mile Marker 60 at around 1:30 p.m., and no injuries were reported.

Every year, there are reports of vehicles colliding with emergency personnel and snow plows. Now that the snowy weather is here, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is warning drivers once again about roadway etiquette with snow plows. Crews often work in tandem to pull snow from the median and other areas too reduce snow accumulation and avoid icy conditions.

The first plow clears the left shoulder or median of the road, pushing snow into the driving lane. The middle plow follows to the side and pushes snow to the right where the third plow pushes the snow off the road. They warn that when approaching a snow cloud caused by a plow truck, to slow down and back off. Drivers should be patient when they see snowplows working. “The plow operators know the road well and will pull over as soon as it is safe to do so,” it states on the Montana Department of Transportation website.

Also, don’t assume the plow operator can see your vehicle since they sometimes have limited visibility. “Plows aren’t just removing snow, they may also be spreading sand or deicer — so please don’t crowd the plow,” they warn. “Plows are large and move slower than highway speeds. It’s difficult to judge distance when approaching the plow so slow down immediately to avoid a collision.”

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