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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.