Montana Department of Transportation

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Winter Driving

winter road image - snowplow sign

You can help ensure a safer winter driving experience by being prepared, alert and cautious.

Winter Driving Checklist

  • Read the Winter Survival Guide.
  • Allow extra time to get to your destination.
  • Clean off your car. Keep windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
  • Always buckle up.
  • Slow down in poor visibility conditions.
  • Maintain a safe distance behind other vehicles.
  • Expect ice on bridges and in shady spots.
  • Don't pass snowplows or spreaders unless it's absolutely necessary.
  • Prepare your vehicle for winter driving at the start of the season.
  • Check to be sure all four tires are in good condition.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to get snow tires mounted.
  • Keep an emergency travel kit in your car.

Snow Plows

Our snowplows are on the road for your safety. When you encounter a snowplow, remember:

  • Plows travel slowly, usually 25-30 miles per hour. If you have to pass, keep in mind the snowplow driver may have a difficult time seeing you, especially while clearing the road ahead.
  • Never pass a plow on the right. Some snowplows are equipped with a wing plow - an eight foot extension off the right side of the truck.
  • Plows aren't just removing snow. They may also be spreading sand or deicer on the road. Maintain a safe distance behind the snowplow to avoid being sprayed.