Ontario G1 test

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MODULE 12: Driving at night and in bad weather

Lesson 10 with Quiz : Snowplows

The snowplow is a vital tool for maintaining safety on the road and ensuring accessibility in winter. This article will examine the importance of snowplows and their operation strategies.

It also includes some essential tips to help drivers share the road with them.

Module 12: Quiz 10


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Vehicles removing snow from the public highway have flashing lights of what colour?

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A snowplow may have wings on its right extending up to…?

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If you see a line of snowplows clearing a freeway ahead, what should you do?

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The Role of Snowplows

In regions that experience heavy snowfalls, the use of snowplows is essential to keeping roads clear and safe. They are fitted with front plows that push snow off the surface of the road. Many snowplows also come with spreaders that help to melt the ice on roads and improve traction.

Operational Strategies of Snowplows

It is important for drivers to understand how these snowplows work, as well as for communities that rely on them for road maintenance in the winter.

Pre-Treatment and Anti-Icing

Many areas use pre-treatment techniques to stop ice from developing on roads before the snow starts falling. Road surfaces are treated with anti-icing agents, like liquid magnesium chloride or salt brine. The proactive approach reduces ice adhesion and helps remove accumulated snow.

Plowing Routes and Priority Areas

The snow plows are assigned routes and prioritize major highways, emergency routes, and other routes. Priority areas are designated to ensure essential transport corridors stay open during and following a storm. Once primary routes have been cleared, residential streets and secondary roads are usually addressed.


Techniques for Efficient Snow Removal

To remove snow efficiently from the road surface, snow plows use a variety of techniques. Straight plowing is the process of pushing the snow off the road. Wing plowing uses additional blades to create a larger path. Specialized attachments such as snow blowers or rotary ploughs can be used to clear heavy drifts and large amounts of snow.

Salt Spreading for De-Icing

Snow plows are often equipped with mechanisms that spread salt to combat the accumulation of ice. Salt helps to melt the ice and improves vehicle traction. It’s also important to remember that salt loses its effectiveness at extremely low temperatures. Alternative materials may be used in certain situations.

Essential Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road with Snow Plows

Snow plows play a vital role in maintaining roads during winter. However, they can be dangerous to share the road with. Snow plows are slower moving and can be unpredictable when they have to navigate through snow. To avoid accidents and give the snowplow driver enough room to manoeuvre, it is important that drivers maintain a safe space from them.

Do Not Pass Unnecessarily

It is important to pass a snowplow with caution. The visibility of the plow operator is limited, and it’s possible that there are dangerous roads ahead. Snow clouds can reduce visibility and increase the chance of drivers getting trapped in snow.

Be Aware of Snow Clouds

As they operate, snow plows may produce significant clouds of snow. This is especially true when they push large quantities of snow off to one side. The clouds may obscure the visibility of vehicles following. To avoid being caught up in a snow cloud, drivers should maintain patience and a safe distance.

Yield to Snow Plows

It is important to give way when you encounter a snowplow. The snow plows are busy and need to get their job done. By yielding, you allow them to work more efficiently. Navigating around or in between snow plows is dangerous and can disrupt their operation.

Stay Informed about Road Conditions

Check the weather and road conditions before you embark on your journey in snowy conditions. Knowing the road conditions helps plan routes, and drivers can anticipate accidents.

Driving according to conditions

In challenging weather conditions such as low visibility or icy surfaces, snow plows may be deployed. The driving style of drivers must be adapted to the conditions. Winter driving requires slower speeds, more gentle acceleration and greater following distances.

Use Winter Tires

Winter tires improve traction on roads covered in snow. Winter tires are designed with special tread patterns, and have rubber compounds that perform best in freezing conditions. Winter tires are a great way to increase your driving safety in the winter.

Be Patient and Understanding

Operators of snow plows work hard to ensure the safety of roads during winter storms. Drivers must be understanding and patient, as these drivers face many challenges. Allow snowplows to do their job by avoiding aggressive behavior and giving them the room they require.


The snow plows play a crucial role in keeping roads safe and accessible during the winter. Adopting winter driving practices that are proactive, understanding their operation strategies and adhering safety guidelines while sharing the road will all contribute to making winter driving safer for everyone. Snow plows are an important part of winter driving. By understanding their importance and following the appropriate safety precautions, you can drive with confidence in the cold weather and help to ensure the safety of your community.