Stop Snow Plows Blocking Your Driveway: Effective Tactics

Winter’s here, and with it comes the familiar sight of snow plows clearing the streets. But there’s a catch: that snow has to go somewhere, and too often, it ends up blocking your driveway. You’re left with a wall of cold frustration right outside your home.

If you’ve ever felt trapped after a snow plow visit, you’re not alone. It’s a common predicament during the snowy months, especially when you need to get out for essentials or, in emergencies, require access for services. So, how can you stop your driveway from becoming a snow fort every time the plows come by?

Stay tuned as we investigate into practical tips to keep your driveway clear this winter. You’ll learn how to collaborate with plowing services and employ smart strategies to minimize the inconvenience of a snow-blocked driveway. Let’s tackle this chilly challenge together.

Why is it important to stop a snow plow from blocking your driveway?

Experiencing a snow plow blockade at the end of your driveway isn’t just a minor inconvenience; it’s a significant hindrance that can affect your daily life during the winter months. When you’re snowed in, several important aspects of your day-to-day routine are disrupted.

Safety is a prime concern. Emergency situations require immediate access for ambulances and fire services. If your driveway is blocked, this could delay critical assistance, putting lives at risk. Also, it’s vital for you to be able to leave your home swiftly in case of an emergency.

Your ability to reach work or important appointments on time is also compromised. In today’s rapid world, being punctual is often non-negotiable. A snow-blocked driveway can result in tardiness or absence, which may have repercussions at your job or with your commitments.

Besides personal accessibility, blocked driveways can also impact services you rely on. Postal delivery, waste collection, and other services require clear access to your property. Impassable driveways cause delays or stoppages in these essential services, adding to the frustrations of winter living.

Regularly dealing with a plow-blocked driveway can lead to additional physical strain. Clearing heavy, compacted snow left by plows requires extra effort and can increase the risk of injury. This becomes especially problematic for those with physical limitations or health concerns.

Strategies to prevent snow plows from blocking your driveway

man shoveling snow during winter storm

Clear the Snow from Your Driveway Before the Plow Arrives

Timing is crucial in managing snow removal around your home. To optimise your efforts, monitor local snow plowing schedules and clear your driveway before plows begin their routes. By doing so, you minimise the amount of snow the plow pushes back onto your property. Keep in mind the physical effort required; plan ahead to ensure you’re shoveling at an effective time.

  • Avoid double work by waiting for plows to clear the road first.
  • Reduce the buildup of compacted, heavy snow left by plow trucks.
  • Enhance safety by ensuring clear access to your property as soon as possible.

Shovel a Clear Path for the Plow to Follow

Strategically relocating snow in specific areas of your driveway can deter snowplows from redepositing it back onto your entrance. Pile the snow to the right side of your driveway—this is if you’re standing on your driveway looking towards the street. Virginia Department of Transportation recommends creating a clear area of about ten feet to the left of the driveway entrance to prevent plows from pushing snow across your entryway. The logic is simple; no snow left on the shoulder means less snow to be shoved back over.

  • Ensure easier re-entry to your residence; keep the entrance unobstructed.
  • Lessen the likelihood of having to redo clearing work.

Mark the Boundaries of Your Driveway

Clear visibility under snowy conditions can be challenging. Marking the boundaries of your driveway with reflective poles or flags can serve as a guide for snow plow operators. This simple act can significantly reduce the risk of snow being deposited in areas you’ve just cleared.

  • Assist plow drivers in identifying the extent of your driveway.
  • Protect lawn areas and mailbox posts from accidental damage by snow plows.
  • Increase the efficiency of snow removal for both you and the plow service.

In populated regions, the constant up and down motion of plow blades at every driveway is impractical. Plow operators focus on clearing roads for public safety first, so employing these strategies is a proactive move to maintain access to your property during winter conditions. Remember, plow crews cannot easily avoid directing snow off the road; it’s your proactive approach that will make the difference.

What to do if your driveway gets blocked by a snow plow

winter snow plowing service

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

When a snow plow inadvertently barricades your driveway, it’s vital to remain composed. Assess the obstruction’s severity and determine if it’s something you can manage. If the snow is firmly packed and appears too daunting to handle on your own, especially given personal health conditions or equipment limitations, further action may be necessary.

Contact the Local Authorities or Snow Removal Company

Your next step should be to reach out to the responsible party. Identify the snow removal agency in charge, whether it’s a municipal service or a private company. Once you’ve ascertained who to speak to, make a call promptly. Voicing your concerns is key as the authorities might not be aware of the issue affecting your driveway access.

  • Explain the urgency, especially if there’s a medical condition that requires clear access
  • Reference any existing services for residents unable to clear snow themselves, such as the windrow clearing program in Burlington

Document the Incident With Photos and Notes

Gathering evidence is crucial. Take clear photos of the snow blockade from several angles, ensuring they are time-stamped. Make detailed notes about the incident, including:

  • The time and date when the plowing took place
  • The extent to which your driveway is blocked
  • Any attempts you’ve made to contact local services or removal companies

This documentation helps validate your claim and provides local authorities with a clear picture of the impediments faced by residents during snow clearing operations. It also serves as a record of the incident should future disputes arise about the handling of snow plowing in your area.

Tips for maintaining a clear driveway during winter

woman shoveling snow winter scene

Invest in a Good Quality Shovel or Snow Blower

Having the right tools on hand is crucial when tackling the snow that blankets your driveway. High-quality shovels with ergonomic designs reduce back strain and make it easier to lift heavy snow. Similarly, investing in a snow blower can drastically cut down the time and effort you spend clearing snow.

  • Shovels: Opt for a model with a curved handle to minimize bending.
  • Snow Blowers: Consider the size of your driveway; larger areas might need a more powerful model.

Create a Snow Removal Plan

Mapping out a strategic approach to snow removal ensures you’re not unknowingly making more work for yourself. Determine where to pile snow to minimize additional shoveling later. Keep these key points in mind:

  • Avoid placing snow near the street where it can be pushed back into your driveway.
  • Pile snow downhill whenever possible.
  • Clear snow in stages during heavy snowfall to prevent buildup.

Keep an Eye on Weather Updates and Act Proactively

Monitoring the weather allows you to anticipate snow plowing schedules and prepare accordingly:

Snowfall (cm)Action
1-2Monitor, light shoveling may be sufficient
3-5Prepare equipment, plan to clear soon after snowfall ceases
6+Clear driveway before plow passes, re-clear if necessary

Acting before the snow plows arrive can save you a significant amount of time. If heavy snowfall is expected, clearing snow early can reduce the amount that accumulates at the end of your driveway.


Armed with these strategies, you’re now ready to tackle the winter season head-on. Remember, a little preparation goes a long way in ensuring your driveway remains clear. Stay proactive, keep an eye on the forecast, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your local authorities for assistance when needed. With your new knowledge and a solid snow removal plan in place, you’ll find that keeping your driveway free from the dreaded snow plow blockade is entirely within your grasp. Stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy a clear driveway all winter long!


Curb Wise