How many snowplows have you seen today?


Whenever you see one, make sure you follow these rules before you get a fine.

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Can You Legally Pass A Snow Plow In Michigan?

It is a simple answer: It is illegal! Kinda.

White snowplow service truck with orange lights and yellow plow blade clearing residential roads of snow while flakes are still falling
Getty Images/iStockphoto

It is illegal in the state of Michigan to pass a snow plow on the right side.

According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, it is not illegal to pass on the left.

You should still use extreme caution when doing so.

Here are a few reasons why you should not pass a snowplow.

  • Snowplows are heavy
    • Snowplows can weigh as much as 30 tons. Your vehicle weighs only around 2 tons. Do the math.
  • Snowplows can be unpredictable.
    • Snowplows make wide turns and overlap lanes so it can cause a traffic situation that you are not prepared for.
  • The plow blades are sharp.
    • If you run into the plow blades, it could rip your vehicle apart.
  • Wing plows can be invisible.
    • The wing plows kick up enough snow that it can be virtually invisible from your view. They typically extend 2 to 10 feet beyond the truck.
  • It's the law! Duh!

Besides those rules, there are a few more that you should know when it comes to snow plows.

Slow down when you see a snowplow.

MDOT says,

" Hanging back will also give you better visibility if the plow is creating a “snow cloud,” and more reaction time to hit the brakes if the snowplow stops (which they often do). Another good reason to stay back: the snowplow may be spreading salt, sand and/or calcium chloride. "

Move over for all stopped snowplows.

Mid Atlantic States Prepare For Large Snow Storm
Getty Images

Michigan's Move Over law applies to snowplows, as well.

"If you see a stationary snowplow on the side of the road, you must slow down to at least 10 mph slower than the speed limit and move over to an open lane. If this is not possible, slow down and pass, allowing as much room as possible. Violating the Move Over law can result in penalties and fines."

If you want to see more details about what you can and cannot do when it comes to snowplows, visit MDOT's website.

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