How Not to Be a Jerk to the Snow Plow Driver This Winter

winter bootWinter is back — whether we welcome the old man or not. He’s brought his old friends snow, sleet, ice, and incompetent driving.

We could probably do without them all, but it’s the last one that’s truly the pits. True, people drive like idiots in the summer. But on an 80-degree day in July, you don’t see anyone passing a plow truck. That takes a special kind of moron.

But you don’t want to be that special kind of moron, do you? Of course you don’t! So, for the sake of everyone out there, from the plow truck driver who is just trying to do his job to the volunteer emergency workers who would really much rather be home with their families than crawling into your upside down car at 2 a.m., do us all a favor. Follow these rules this winter:

1. Don’t pass a plow truck, unless the driver has specifically pulled over and waved you on for some reason or another.
2. Don’t assume the plow truck driver can see your vehicle. Poor visibility affects every driver in a storm, including those up in the big rigs.
3. Don’t let your kids play in the snow near the road, in the road, or in a parking lot. No one wants a child to be hit, least of all a plow truck driver, but little kids are awfully hard to spot when you’re up that high. It’s all the worse when they’re lying down making snow angels or hiding in a snow “fort.”
4. Don’t ride the plow truck’s tail. Ever heard of stopping distance? You should be at least four vehicle lengths behind a plow truck if you don’t want to slam into their bad end at a sudden stop. Technically, the same goes for following any vehicle in bad weather. Leave some room!

More From Inside Out: Before You Complain About That Plow Guy …

5. Don’t run outside your house to hail the plow truck down and complain about the job the driver is doing (or not doing). Before complaining, think about the storm. Are the roads poor because it’s been dropping freezing rain for hours or snowing like mad, or is it really because someone is doing a bad job? If you’re still thinking it’s the latter, call the highway barn and talk to the big boss. Either he’s the one calling the shots or he should know what his driver is up to.
6. Do treat the plow truck driver like a human being. They work long hours, often in the middle of the night or on holidays when regular folks are snuggled up on the couch or in their beds. They work against Mother Nature, who is a hard woman to reason with. And believe it or not, they don’t make millions of dollars (and if they did, you’d hoot and holler about your taxes). They could use a little compassion every once in awhile … just like you and me.


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  1. James Robert says:

    Great tips and I know there are a lot of people that get aggravated after they shoveled and then the plow goes by and blocks you back in. Something that just happens because roads are getting cleared

  2. My boyfriend works the plow. Last weekend he had to tell a father that his kids should not be sledding on the road when he’s on the street. Another resident actually asked him to walk their dog. Baffling.


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