Canada: Ice And Snow On Your Car? Clean It Off!

Last Updated: February 26 2019
Article by Michael J. Henry

With the recent heavy snowfall and ice storm, drivers and pedestrians have become more aware of the dangers of ice and snow flying off of vehicles.  Cars that are parked outside overnight can have large accumulations of snow, which  can become packed and hard to remove. Add an ice storm to the equation and the snow becomes an ice block. Even if there's no snow in sight, an ice storm can cause sheets of ice to form on your vehicle.

Of course, it goes without saying that all ice and snow should be fully cleared from your windows before taking to the roadway. Driving with reduced visibility that prevents you from seeing through all the windows of your car (not just your windshield), as well as your rear-view mirrors, makes for a very dangerous  situation.

Another danger that drivers are less aware of is when snow and ice accumulate on the roof of one's car. This goes for all manner of vehicles and, one could argue, especially for trucks and vans given the very large flat surface on the top of their boxes and trailers.

Failing to properly clean the ice and snow from the top of  your vehicle can pose a significant risk. When in motion, the heat from the vehicle can cause the ice and snow to loosen and then fly off in chunks with the momentum of speed and wind.

This can reduce visibility for the drivers around you. It can be very  distracting and dangerous if a large chunk of snow or ice comes flying off of your car and onto theirs. There have been many situations where hoods and windshields have been damaged which cause emergency situations for the drivers affected. This, of course, can lead to accidents as drivers react to the situation.

But failing to properly clean ice and snow from one's vehicle is not only dangerous, it is against the law.  Ontario law requires that windshields, roofs and hoods of vehicles be completely cleared of ice and snow before going out on the roads. If you fail to comply with this law you can incur a significant fine. In addition, if you are identified as the culprit of such a situation, you can find yourself as a Defendant in a lawsuit, which will not only  affect your insurance premiums, it  could seriously impact the lives of another person and their family  if you cause injury.

In order to avoid this situation, you should always keep scrapers and brushes in your vehicle.  You can also obtain a spray that will pre-treat your windows to avoid icing and help with the de-icing process. If at all possible, you should keep your vehicles indoors or covered when you know a heavy snow fall or ice storm is on the way.

I can only hope that this article will remind those who fail to keep these dangers in mind to properly clean the ice and snow off of their vehicles before setting out on the road. Unfortunately, many people will not heed this advice. If you find yourself the victim of an accident or injury as a result of ice or snow flying off of a vehicle, you should consult a personal injury lawyer at Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP. We represent all manner of injured victims, including those who have suffered injury at the hands of negligent operators of automobiles and trucks.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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