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Not properly clearing snow from vehicle could cost you

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- If the bitterly cold temperatures have kept you from properly clearing the snow and ice off of your car and yet you're driving that vehicle, you are breaking the law in Missouri and Illinois.

In the most simple terms, clear off all that thick snow and ice. That means from the windshield, headlights, and especially the roof.

With temperatures warming over the next few days, that will help loosen inches of snow and ice that have accumulated over the past few days.

And with that gradual loosening, you know what can happen: you're driving at highway speeds, air rides under a crack in that snow pack and all of a sudden a snow missile is flying off your roof and potentially hitting another vehicle.

If that happens, you are responsible for the damages.

We checked with state troopers in Missouri and Illinoisand while there are no specific statutes regarding snow and ice removal from vehicles, both states require drivers to have a clear, unobstructed view from their windshields and both states hold the driver responsible if something flies off the car.

Think of it this way, if you're driving a pickup truck and something flies out of the bed it's your fault because it wasn't properly secured.

Same goes for snow and ice and the law applies to tractor trailers as well as passenger cars and trucks.

The state troopers said drivers get cited every year for violating those laws.

There are fines for both which can range well over a $100.

Bottom line, it's just common sense and the law to keep your car safe from hurting or damaging someone else’s.

17 comments

  • W. M. Baker

    You should have mentioned having your headlights, tail lights and turn signals clear of snow or ice. It’s amazing how many people drive with their lights totally obscured by snow.

  • Laura

    I wish the dump trucks hauling rocks uncovered would pay for my windshields when their rocks fly off and hit my windshield! Seems like the same thing to me!

    • Mary haynes

      Maybe it’s not being lazy.maybe it is being too short to reach the top. Try all I can I can not reach the middle of the top. Needless to say my disabled husband can’t either but he still needs to get to work. He drives with hand controls.

  • Thomas

    It really surprises me how many people neglect to properly clear their vehicles of snow and ice. There has to be a combination of pure ignorance, laziness and absolutely no respect for others safety in a majority of them.

  • Vickie Montgomery

    I totally understand, but why do large trucks get by with rock flying out of their trucks and breaking windshields? Food for thought!

    • toebee84

      If the rock came out of a dump truck hauling gravel and hit your vehicle (and you can prove it), it is a valid claim. If a large truck hits a rock on the roadway and it hits your vehicle, it is not a valid claim because the driver/company cannot control rocks on the road.

  • Matt

    Unfortunately unless the state trooper or any other law enforcement sees the snow or any other debris fall from the car nothing can be done. I’ve had this happen. Followed vehicle and got plate and called state trooper and he told me “unless I see it and can’t do anything”.

  • .k

    Saw a county police car on the highway that’s roof was covered with snow. Can’t make people clean cars if the police don’t

  • K

    Saw count police car with snow on most of roof. Can’t think people will clean off their cars if the police don’t

  • Sonia Dae Slankard

    driving on the interstate one day a large sheet of ice lifted off the top of a big rig and flew up in the air and crashed down in front of my car like a giant sheet of glass luckily it just shattered and i kept driving but it was absolultey terrifying

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