Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Winter Work Zone Safety

Side shot picture of an orange snow plow truck plowing snow on a highway road.

Stay safe in winter work zones

Safe winter driving tips for motorists:

  • Call 511 or visit www.511mn.org before leaving on your trip to get current road conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off your cruise control.
  • Slow down; allow at least five car lengths between your vehicle and a plow.
  • Stay behind the snowplow. The road behind a snowplow is safer to drive on.
  • Watch for snowplows that turn or exit frequently, and often with little warning.
  • Never drive into a snow cloud.

Pay attention

Snowplows travel much slower than the posted speeds because it is most effective for clearing roads. The driver’s field of vision is severely restricted behind the truck, and the driver must rely on mirrors to see to the rear and side of the truck. Remember to:

  • Be patient, and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  • Stay back at least five car lengths behind the plow, far from the snow cloud.
  • Stay alert for snowplows that turn or exit frequently and often with little warning. They also may travel over centerlines or partially in traffic to further improve road conditions.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions. Snowplows typically move at slower speeds.

We're in the storm together. Be patient with the snowplows and drive according to road conditions. Heavy traffic congestion affects snowplowing operations. If you're stuck in traffic, so are the snowplows.