/ Travel & Leisure

Driving with snow on your car – it’s snow joke

Car covered in snow

I don’t usually like to tell other people what they should – or shouldn’t – be doing, but seeing some dangerous behaviour over the past week has compelled me to get typing. Why drive with snow on your car?

Waiting to collect my daughter from school on Friday, I was disturbed to see a procession of cars leaving the school almost completely covered in up to 10cm of snow. Not one had bothered to clear the snow off the side windows of their cars. The best had just stuck the front wipers on and the worst had only cleared off the driver’s side of the front screen.

Not only was this a rubbish example to be setting for the pupils, it was also downright dangerous – they would struggle to see other vehicles and the children walking home near them. The AA this week also criticised drivers who haven’t cleared their cars of snow and ice, or what it calls the ‘igloo mentality’.

Of course, it’s also illegal. The Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 state that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle where the driver’s vision through the windscreen is impaired.

Clearing your car of snow and ice

So why didn’t they at least clear all their car windows so they had all-round visibility? And surely they’d want other road users to see them, so wouldn’t they think to wipe the snow off their cars’ lights and indicators?

To be honest, they really should have gone further, as I learned from a motorbike-riding colleague. He told me he’d almost been knocked off his bike by a roof-load of snow that suddenly flew off a car.

At least some of the drivers I saw had made a small effort to clear their cars’ screens, unlike one motorway driver who’d only scraped a narrow slit in the screen of their Audi A4. I’m not one for reporting other motorists for bad behaviour, but I’d definitely have informed the police about this one.

Do you drive in the snow?

Yes (49%, 230 Votes)

Only if I really need to (44%, 210 Votes)

No (7%, 32 Votes)

Total Voters: 473

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Robert G says:
25 January 2013

A small floor brush with soft bristles is ideal for clearing snow quickly from the car.

Cars have to many become fashion items, so twinkly lights like muscular curves are as important as other features.

TravellinBonzo says:
28 January 2013

During the late 50’s we moved from Kent to Farndale North Yorkshire,my father had a Standard Vanguard Estate car, which as a grocer in Kent he had used to deliver customers orders.
During the winter months most snow across the Yorkshire Dales was cleared by the farmers tractors complete with Plough, my father had Town & Country tyres fitted, and he used to be able to get anywhere as the car was literally like a tank!, before moving to take over a Pub and Hotel in a nearby Market Town, he sold it to our farmer neighbour who lived a mile away, who preferred it to his Austin Gypsy four wheel drive, which in bad weather kept getting stuck!.

I cannot believe how stupid some people can be. I always clear the entire car: glass, lights, plates, roof, bonnet, etc. as well as making sure that the wipers are free from obstruction.

It’s just a matter of allowing extra time. I find a spade very useful for the harder to reach bits.