WEST SALEM, Wisconsin (WXOW)- Monday is snowplow driver appreciation day. And although there isn't snow on the roads yet, snowplow drivers say the best way you can honor them is keep a few things when you're driving this winter.
Limit driving during and after winter storms, slow down, and be patient.
"I guess the biggest is if people are just patient around plow trucks," said Dean Herlitzke Section Patrol Worker La Crosse Co. and yearly snowplow driver. "We're just trying to do our job. You know, everyone of us here's got family and people we care about on the roads just the same. So we're just trying to make them safe as fast as we can for everybody."
And in many cases, being impatient may slow you down in the long run.
"Somebody might be impatient following us thinking ‘I can't stand being behind this truck anymore'," said Herlitzke. "Pass, the next thing you know, they're squiggling and fishtailing and they end up slowing me down. It's kind of like, they think ‘oh, I'll just go around them' and they find out it's not so good to be ahead of the truck."
Herlitzke said ice storms are the most difficult winter event for snowplow drivers to navigate. Luckily, because of last year's light snowfall, salt is in good supply this year.
La Crosse County bought two new plow trucks this season. In the off season, snowplows are used for street cleanup and gravel distribution.
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