Safe in 60: Don’t Take Safety Shortcuts on Icy Winter Mornings

Jan 14, 2019, 7:00 AM | Updated: 3:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Walking out of a cozy, warm house to find your car covered in ice, frost or snow may tempt you to take some safety shortcuts, especially if you’re running behind. But if you don’t completely clear and scrape your vehicle windows, you are putting yourself, other drivers and pedestrians in danger.

I have responded to many tragic calls during my career, but some of my worst have been to fatalities caused by someone who chose not to take the necessary time to scrape their windows. It is extremely dangerous to drive with your vision blocked by snow or ice.

Before you leave your driveway, please make sure you have done the following:

  • Completely cleared snow and ice off of all vehicle windows.
  • Cleared side mirrors, blinkers and lights of snow and ice so others can see them.
  • Checked that windshield wipers are working effectively and wiper fluid nozzles are clear.

Scraping a porthole in the windshield is not enough – in fact it is negligent and dangerous. A driver does not have peripheral vision unless all windows are clear.

And the entire back window should be cleared to watch for emergency vehicles or potential dangers approaching from behind.

To speed up your morning routine, park in a garage or under a carport if possible. If not, a car cover can help prevent frost.

Several de-icing products are sold to speed up the melting of ice, but check to make sure they won’t damage your windows or paint.

Never pour hot or warm water on the windshield. The temperature change can cause the glass to crack or even shatter.

And before you drive away with your windows covered in frost, ice or snow – ask yourself this question: Would you drive your car in the summer if all your windows were blocked? That would be ridiculous, right? So don’t consider doing it in the winter. Never take shortcuts when it comes to the safety of you or those around you.

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Safe in 60: Don’t Take Safety Shortcuts on Icy Winter Mornings