Why Driving with Snow & Ice on Your Car is So Dangerous
Wondering why it’s dangerous — and in many places illegal — to drive around with snow on the roof of your car?
- The ice or snow could fall from your car’s roof onto your windshield while you’re driving — blocking your visibility.
- A frozen slab of ice can also create obstructions on roadways if it falls off your car.
- Another of the many hidden dangers of driving around with snow on your car is that a sheet of ice flying off your vehicle could hit another motorist, causing potential damage, injury, or even death. These are called ice missiles, and they’re very dangerous.
Massachusetts — Massachusetts police can issue citations for snow on the roof of your car and may lay criminal charges if the ice injures somebody.
How to Remove Ice from a Car
Start your car and turn on your defrost setting. Fire up your car’s engine so it can start heating up. Turn on the heater and set it to the defrost setting so the warm air flows over your windshield to start warming it up and melting the ice.
- It may take a few minutes for the air coming out to warm up.
- If your car has to defrost vents on your side windows and side mirrors, turn them on as well.
Set the temperature to full heat and the air to recirculate. Find your temperature button or slide and set it to the highest heat setting possible. Look for an airflow setting on your A/C panel and adjust it so the air inside the car is being recirculated.
Recirculating the air can help it heat up faster and warms up the air inside the car which can help defrost any other windows with ice on them.
Turn on your headlights to melt any ice on them. Flick on your car’s headlights and taillights so the bulbs can start warming up, which will melt the ice and make it easier to remove. Leave the lights on while you remove the ice from your windows to give it some time to heat up.
Use a plastic scraper to scrape off the ice from your windows. Take a plastic glass scraper and wedge it beneath the layer of ice on the outside of the glass. Drag the scraper over the surface of the glass to scrape off the ice. Work your way around your car and remove the ice from all of your windows so you’re able to see in every direction when you drive.
- Avoid using anything but a scraper designed to remove ice from cars so you don’t scratch the glass.
If there’s ice covering your headlights, scrape it off as well.