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Like much of the Midwest and Northeast, Michigan residents woke to several inches of fresh new snow today. Heavy snowfall is common in Michigan, and our county road commissions and state Department of Transportation (MDOT) are generally well-equipped to handle it. In fact, MDOT officials are testing a new type of snowplow this winter with an eye on efficiency.

The so-called Tow Plow is a large trailer that can deploy a plowing surface with a width of 25 feet. A Tow Plow-equipped vehicle can clear two lanes of traffic at once, hopefully resulting in drivable roads in half the time. It also costs less than an ordinary plow truck and is supposed to last for 30 years. Although new to Michigan, the device is currently being used in several other snowy states, Including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Maine.

Regardless of the type of plow, motorists should use extra caution around snow removal vehicles. Snowplows tend to have poor visibility to begin with, and the clouds of snow and ice in their wake make driving especially hazardous.

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