Shake Your Mailbox to See if it Will Survive Snowplow Season

 10/14/2015 - 14:49

The Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) encourages residents to prepare for winter by shaking their mailbox this Saturday, as Governor Snyder has officially proclaimed Saturday, October 17 as the 7th annual “Shake your Mailbox Day” in Michigan.

While snow plows operators drive slowly, usually at 25 mph or less, the force of snow thrown from a plow is enough to knock down a loose mailbox. WCRC encourages residents to give their mailbox an aggressive shake. If the mailbox moves it needs maintenance before the winter season begins. Record snowfalls in recent winters have led to an increase in the number of mailboxes damaged by snow thrown from passing plows and many mailboxes are in need of repairs.

The Road Commission recommends tightening screws, replacing rusted mailboxes and rotted wooden posts.

“We know that winter damage to mailboxes is inconvenient to residents and we want to minimize the problem. Simply shaking your mailbox and tightening screws can go a long way in keeping it secure during the winter season,” said Jim Harmon, Director of Operations at the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

WCRC will only replace existing mailboxes if the mailbox was damaged by Road Commission equipment. The Road Commission will not replace mailboxes damaged by the sheer force of ice/snow thrown from plows. Mailboxes are one of the only objects allowed in the road right-of-way without a written permit.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission has standards for placement of mailboxes along county roads that are aligned with the regulations of the U.S. Postal Service. WCRC encourages residents to review the regulations about mailboxes to make sure their mailbox is legal.

“Each year, 70-100 people are killed in accidents involving rural mailboxes. What we often see, and encourage residents to replace, are ‘gang mailboxes’ where there are multiple mailboxes on a shared support structure. These mailboxes can be fatal if a driver hits the mailbox and the supports go through a windshield.

Making sure that your mailbox is secure and legal can save a life,” said Harmon. For more information about WCRC’s Mailbox Guidelines please visit:

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