For those not lucky enough to be able to park in a garage when it snows, be sure to leave extra time before getting in the car. Snow must be removed not only from one’s windshield and other windows, but from the roof, hood, and sometimes trunk, too.
Removing snow and ice before hitting the road should be common sense. It’s courteous. It’s safer. It’s also the law, and failure to do it can result in a fine — $75 just for not removing snow or ice, and up to $1,000 if flying snow or ice causes property damage or injury. The law applies to passenger cars; a similar one for commercial vehicles is scheduled to take effect later this year.
Most drivers have found themselves at some point behind one of these inconsiderate drivers who refuses to scrape off more than the smallest of peepholes in the front windshield after a big snowstorm. It’s not only frustrating when chunks of snow and ice come hurtling at your car, it can also be really dangerous — and driving in the snow is dangerous enough.
SUV owners seem to be among the worst offenders, probably because it takes some serious effort to climb up and scrape snow off a roof that’s higher than one’s head. Yes, it takes longer to remove all the snow from one’s car. Yes, it rarely makes any difference to you, the driver, or your ability to see out your front windshield if there happens to be snow on your roof. And yes, it’s usually cold and you’re usually running late as it is.
But really? Taking just a few extra minutes to make a few extra swipes with a scraper or broom can mean the difference between someone’s uneventful ride to work or the store and a serious accident.
The other common sense/common courtesy snow-related activity to keep in mind as winter progresses has to do with plowing and shoveling one’s driveway. Be sure not to just push it into the street. Again, it’s rude, it’s lazy, but more importantly it’s dangerous and it’s against the law. Property owners can be liable for any damage caused, even if it was a hired contractor (or neighborhood kid) who shoveled the snow into the road — so be sure to spread the word, not the snow.