Clearing Snow off the tops of Cars Before Driving

@katprice (807)
United States
January 23, 2007 8:17am CST
I hope everyone is doing this, and if you're not - you need to! I know it is law in some states because it is highly dangerous to the car(s) behind you if you're driving with a snow-covered car top and suddenly it all slides off and lands on the car behind you. I myself have heard of one incident where a man was decapitated when a sheet of compacted snow slid off the roof of the car in front of him and came through his windshield. Also, just yesterday driving to work a minivan in front of me lost their roof-snow and luckily I was far enough behind them that it didn't affect me. I did have to run over the chunks, though. Lastly, my husband saw a car who lost its roof-snow and it landed on a Volvo directly behind them. Clean off the snow from your cars, folks!
12 people like this
43 responses
@Bev1986 (1427)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I do. We have a van and I have one of those automatic car starters, so in the winter, I almost always let it run for about 10 minutes before I leave in the morning. By that time, it's warm enough inside that the snow has started to melt off the top and I can usually scrape it off with the brush. I wish we had a garage so that I didn't have to worry about snow on my car! But until then, I'll just have to use the electric starter. That was the best present my husband could ever get me! lol!
3 people like this
@katprice (807)
• United States
23 Jan 07
That's a great idea. I was very surprised when I moved to the east coast and found that most houses do not have garages. You'd think it would be especially important here because of the harsher winters and people wanting to keep their cars out of the elements. I'm glad you have a solution to the snow on the car problem.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I always clear the snow off the top of the car because sometimes if you dont, the snow slides down off of your rooftop and lands on your windshild and is stuck there and you cant see and it is too heavy for the windshield wipers to move off, so therefore you are probably gonna wreck.
2 people like this
@katprice (807)
• United States
26 Jul 07
When I drove a pickup truck I used to push the snow into the bed of the truck to keep some weight over the rear axle so the truck would (hopefully) drive better in the snow. I don't really know if it helped or not.
@Willowlady (10666)
• United States
23 Jan 07
That is such a good thing to remind people. The things that we do can impact others and we need to be vigilant for such occasions as this. A broom often is just the thing to clear off that snow. Also wish to add about your lights, clear the snow from them too. Also the license plate since Mr. Policeman will pull you over for it!! Just some thought to add to this discussion about safety during our winter season!!
2 people like this
@katprice (807)
• United States
26 Jul 07
It's a big deal that's for sure. People need to clean out their garages and make room for the cars during the winter months so their cars are free of snow when they hit the roads. It will help keep everyone's insurance rates down.
• United States
23 Jan 07
One of my former coworkers was traveling home when a semi came down the mountain in the opposite direction. Ice from his truck flew off the roof and smashed into her vehicle. It smashed the front end and the roof of the truck. The driver of the semi continued down the mountain. Several good samaritans pulled over to assist her and one called the police. The semi was pulled over at the bottom of the mountain by the police. This woman was very fortunate that she survived this accident.
2 people like this
@katprice (807)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Oh how terrible! I'm so glad she survived. I hadn't really thought about roofs on semi tractor-trailers. My goodness! They can hold a lot of snow up there I'm sure and there's no easy way to clear it off.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
23 Jan 07
Blowing snow or ice from other cars or vehicles where I live in Canada can be a real hazzard to the other motorists. I agree with you people need to take responsibility and clean the snow from their car's roof tops.
2 people like this
@katprice (807)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Definitely! And it doesn't take a very big piece to do some damage when it gets propelled by the speed of the car. Nothing worse than seeing ice chunks come flying at you when you're already white-knuckling it driving down a snowy or icy road.
• United States
23 Jan 07
I live in San Diego right now, but I used to live in Detroit as a kid. One of my favorite things to do was push the snow off the top of the car. I don't know if it was a law back then, though. We also had a garage, too.
@katprice (807)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I think they get a lot of snow in Detroit, too don't they? It is a lot of fun to push all the snow off. Most people with garages here end up using them for storage or a room addition and then the cars have to stay outside.
• United States
24 Jan 07
My cousin, Adam, lives in Montana and he had to do that every year, after a while he just uses the snow blower.
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
2 Mar 07
Does that work even if the snow is compacted with a crust of ice on the top? I can't see how a snow blower would do the trick there. I'm sure it works great on the light fluffy stuff though.
@dopey22girl (3324)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I never did really clean the snow off the top of my car, but after reading this I definitely will. The stories you told are really scary, especially the guy who was decapitated! It is great that you posted a discussion on this. It will raise everyone's awareness about the importance of clearing the snow off the top of your car before driving. I want to say thank-you for opening my eyes to this, and everytime I brush my car off I will think of this and not forget to clear off the top of my car. Thanks again!
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
24 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. It's amazing how people don't really give things like this a second thought. Also, law enforcement is stretched thin on snowy days. They're too busy tending to accidents and don't have the time to write tickets to those people who have not cleared the snow off their cars.
@mzbubblie (3840)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I wish we had that law...Yesterday on my way to work this van had snow on his top, he was in the lane next to me, just a little ahead and the snow hit my passenger window..excellent topic, I hope alot of drivers who don't clean off their vehicles see this...I do clean off mine if the heat from my car can't melt it off
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I'm so glad the force and weight of the snowpack from the car next to you didn't come right through and break your side window. That would have been horrible.
• United States
23 Jan 07
I have not heard of any accidents occuring where snow that came off a rooftop damaged someone else car. I normally do not clean the snow off of my rooftop but after reading this story I am going to start to. Thanks for sharing your story.
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
24 Jan 07
Thanks for reading. Its funny how things we sometimes never give a second thought to end up being really important, and a safety issue.
• United States
23 Jan 07
I do try to clean my whole car off. Some people just scrape off their window and then hit the highway and can't see because the snow on their hood is flying into their windshield. Duh! :O) I've never had a big problem with cars infront of me dropping snow on my windshield. What scares me is when a huge chunk of ice or compacted snow falls off of a semi truck infront of you or to the side of you and smacks into your windshield out of nowhere. I HATE that!! LOL! Yes folks - clean off your WHOLE car. Or put a cover on it for nights that it's going to snow, put it in the garage or something...it's safer for yourself and those driving around you.
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
2 Mar 07
It happened again just the other morning. A compacted chunk of snow flew off the top of a pickup truck about 3 cars ahead of me, flew way up in the air and made a few flips, then came crashing down to the roadway and the SUV in front of me had to swerve to avoid hitting it as it landed. This is SO dangerous and they need to pass a law in each state to make people clear off their cars.
@kgwat70 (13396)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Me and my neighbor were just discussing this the other day while we we were wiping the snow off our cars. We always make sure the snow is off the tops of our cars as well as the front, back and sides of the car and windows. It is extremely dangerous for people driving with snow still on top of the car. Some of it will turn to ice which will make things worse when driving as it will fly into another car behind you or on the side and can cause serious accidents. This is a great discussion and hope people will clear off the snow.
@katprice (807)
• United States
23 Jan 07
I too hope they will clear the snow off. I also hope more states will make it the law to keep your vehicles cleared of snow and ice so that it doesn't cause damage or injury.
@rainbow (6763)
23 Jan 07
I usually put the brush across the top of my car and then pour a little warm water over it when I do my windscreen, I'm suprised people don't think to do it. We don't get a whole lot of snow in England but I woke up to it this morning, it's going away now but we are forcast more.
1 person likes this
@mshmsho (118)
• Germany
24 Jan 07
As much as I hate doing it every morning but still believe that it is very important to do it for your own safety.
1 person likes this
@reinydawn (11649)
• United States
24 Jan 07
We don't get snow here much and when we do people sure don't know how to act! Monday was horrible just because people are stupid. I have a SUV so it's really hard for me to get all the snow off the top, but I reach as far as I can with my brush (it has a long handle). It also really gets to me when people only scrape the windshield on the drivers side - and nothing else! This one guy had snow covering his headlights so it really didn't do any good to have them on. He also could not see out the back or side of his vehicle because he didn't clean the snow off. I want to make sure people can see me and I can see them!
1 person likes this
@hazydazy (783)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I did not know that it was a law in some states. However I always do. There is nothing worse than driving on a snow covered road and then from in front of you nothing but a sea of white, because the snow flew off the roof of the guy in front of you. I hate that. If it is not a law in my state it should be.
1 person likes this
@funnysis (2619)
• United States
23 Jan 07
Oh yes you would even image how many accidents are caused by snow flying off cars because they were not properly cleaned of snow.I think if you are going to be driving you should at least be very responsible and clean the snow off your vehicle it only takes a second for an accident to occur.
1 person likes this
@mrscinxav (118)
• United States
23 Jan 07
yes ,i think its a must. it caused many accidents
1 person likes this
@wings33 (230)
• United States
24 Jan 07
If the snow on the top of my car is a few inches high, I'm going to clear it off. If it isn't that much, I sometimes just let it go, especially if it is extremely cold and I'm in a hurry.
@katprice (807)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I wonder how much it cuts down the gas mileage having all that snow weight on the car? Surely that must affect the mileage.
• United States
24 Jan 07
i have always cleared the snow off my cars, i have had it happen to me multiple times. i hate it when people dont, when your on the highway and not only snow but big blocks of ice come about 6 inches from your windsheild it gets kinda scary. so i strongly agree with her! take the time to clean it off.
@katprice (807)
• United States
24 Jan 07
I'm so glad the ice chunks didn't hit you or your car. I just did some research and found an article from September 2005. Apparently no states have a law that says you have to clear the snow from your car. Massachussetts will be the first if this bill passes, and the fines are either $500 or up to 6 months in jail. Read this, it's incredible! http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/09/14/bill_aims_to_clear_snow_ice_off_autos/