We've reached that time of year when old man winter will be treating us to snowy morning and evening commutes, and that brings up the age old question, is it legal to pass a snowplow here in Connecticut?

Between now and sometime in early April, Connecticut generally gets several storms with enough snow that the roads need to be plowed to allow us to travel safely. We count on those Snowplows to clear the roads for us so we can get to and from work without getting into an accident. Despite this, some people are impatient and pass plows in the hope of getting to where they are going faster. This can be extremely dangerous, but is it illegal?

According to the Connecticut Department of Transportation, there are no state laws that prohibit you from passing a snowplow. However, if it's a contest between your car and the snowplow, you know who's going to win. Drivers who try to pass a snowplow run the risk of not only damaging their vehicle, but if you're hit by the snowplow, you're heading into either another car, a divider, or even in a ditch.

Remember the road behind the snowplow had just been cleared, but the road in front of the snowplow is probably in pretty bad shape. If that's the case, you'll definitely be putting yourself at risk.

There are also those snowplows on our major highways that have "wing" plows that stick out over eight feet from the right, left, or both sides of the truck. Don't even think of trying to pass one of those, and keep in mind that the snow being plowed can contain rocks and other debris that can do some serious damage to your vehicle.

So the answer to our question is no it's not illegal, but you could be putting yourself in a dangerous situation if you do decide to pass. Your best bet is do what the DOT says is the smart thing.

Drivers should give winter maintenance vehicles such as plows a wide berth. They do not travel at high speeds, so other vehicles overtake them quickly. Snow plows will pull over periodically to let traffic pass. The best advice is to stay three car lengths behind plows and of course to drive slowly and drive safely.

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