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Snow And Ice Contribute To Unsafe Driving

The winter driving season contains many hazards for drivers. Driving too fast and tailgating are behaviors that frequently lead to car accidents when bad weather strikes. Another concerning behavior is on display many mornings during colder months: drivers who do not fully clear their windshields of ice before getting out on the roads. The failure to properly clear ice and snow can contribute to deadly car accidents.

Clearing your vehicle of snow and scraping off the ice that accumulates on glass surfaces is not fun. The last thing you want to see when you are running late is your car encased in ice. Some drivers simply clear a hole to see through and start driving, allowing the car's defrost to slowly melt the rest during the drive. Many newer vehicles have poor visibility as part of their design. Exacerbating that problem by trying to drive with only a few inches of glass cleared for vision is dangerous and illegal.

Illinois drivers can be ticketed for driving with their vision obstructed by snow and ice. In addition to scraping the frost off the front, back and side windows, you should also brush snow off the bumpers, hood and roof of the vehicle. Blowing snow from your hood can make forward visibility a problem and snow from the roof can make vision out the back window problematic.

The rise in popularity of auto-start options allows more and more drivers to wait for their vehicles to warm up before getting behind the wheel. This does not solve the problem of snow-clearing, but it may reduce the time it takes to clear the frost. Whether or not you have that option, it is important to take however much time is necessary to clear your car and drive with an unobstructed view of the cars, trucks and pedestrians around you. Failure to do so can yield catastrophic results.

Source: Valley News, "'Peephole Drivers' Ignore Safety and Law When They Don't Scrape Cars," by Kim Ode, 5 January 2014

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