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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Snow Plow Safety Study
Project Researcher: Preston Schultz,
Project Manager: Jon Becker
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:SDDOT has experienced numerous accidents involving snow plows. The most serious appear to be the "rear-end" accidents on the Interstate system. We need ways to improve snow plow visibility or to provide additional warning to the driving public. The big problem seems to be in the passing lane.

The major contributor to the snow plow accidents seems to be the cloud of snow that is thrown up by the blade and caught by the wind. By using a blade that curls the snow rather than throwing it to the wind, the snow cloud may be reduced. These accidents may also be prevented by using a lighting system that motorists can see from a greater distance in low visibility conditions.


Research Objectives:
1  To determine which configuration of a variable angle blade will reduce the snow cloud further than the present blades;
2  To determine whether the Minnesota DOT lighting system increases visibility over the present SDDOT lighting system.

Research Tasks:
1  Prepare a work plan for this study;
2  Review available literature relevant to snow plow safety;
3  Install the variable angle blades;
4  Install the Minnesota DOT snow plow lighting system;
5  Determine method for observing equipment in operation;
6  the equipment in field conditions and determine the following for each configuration: (a.) Height of blade, (b.) Angle of blade, (c.) Distance the lights may be seen;
7  Determine whether the lighting or blade configuration would adversely affect the operator or motorists;
8  Prepare an interim report summarizing progress of research and findings by May 1, 1991;
9  Prepare final report discussing method of research, results, conclusions and recommendations by May 1, 1992.

Documents Available:

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