If you've done much traveling along American highways, you've probably seen wooden fences along the road that aren't used to demarcate property boundaries or restrict livestock movement. These fences are especially common in places that have cold winters and lots of wind, like Wyoming and the Dakotas.
These are snow fences. They’re not designed to “catch” or block blowing snow— the slats of the fence slow down the wind as it passes through, causing some of the snow being carried to drop to the ground and pile up. The snowdrift is downwind of the snow fence.
Why use snow fences? The reduction of blowing snow significantly improves driver's visibility and safety. Snow fences also reduce the cost of sanding and salting roads, as well as the cost of snow removal, by reducing the piling up of snow on roads. Studies show that they are quite cost effective.