What’s the Law on Wiping Snow Off the Roof of Your Car?
I bet a lot of you have wondered how much snow you have to clear off your car after a snowy day. Maybe you are a thoughtful person and diligently removed all or almost all of the snow from the roof of your vehicle before making the journey to work or to pick up essentials from the grocery store. Maybe you’re the type to remove snow from your windshield just enough to see directly in front of you. Whichever type of person you are, I would put money on it that while you’re driving, you’ve been either blinded or had to suddenly stop and use your wipers to regain visibility or make evasive maneuvers to avoid chunks of snow or shards of ice from another vehicle to prevent a deadly accident.
So, is it illegal to drive with snow on your vehicle in Virginia? The short answer is no, it’s not illegal. Should it be? I think it’s very dangerous and careless of people to not remove the snow/ice off of your vehicle. If you’re traveling under 40 mph and for a very short distance, chances are the snow will stay put. But, if you’ve heated up your car before heading out or you’re on the highway, the snow/ice will fly off; it’s only a matter of time before it’s sliding off your roof and flying all over. Just because it’s not illegal to remove snow doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. I don’t have to hold the door for anyone when entering a building, but it’s the nice thing to do. Also, while it’s not illegal, if you don’t remove snow from your vehicle and an officer or state trooper sees it, you can get cited for a number of different charges; the most serious being Reckless Driving. It happens rarely, but remember; you can avoid a charge and possibly injuring someone (which could then lead to a negligence lawsuit) by doing the right thing.
Stay safe and remain vigilant!