Is it clear yet?
We find ourselves in this situation every year; snow. For some parts of our country we haven’t received much snow yet this winter. For others, a major dumping has already arrived. Even though this is a common part of our lifestyle, I’m still amazed by how many drivers don’t clear off their vehicle properly. How much snow do you clear off your vehicle?
I recommend that you start with the roof and work around your vehicle. If you avoid clearing off the roof, it will eventually blow off to the driver behind you, or slide down your rear window while you’re driving. For an SUV or mini van, you may need to use a broom or a very long handled snow brush to reach the top.
Once the roof is clear of snow, ensure that all the windows, mirrors, trunk, hood and the sides of the vehicle are also clear of snow. This allows for better visibility for you as you check your mirrors and blind spots. It can also reduce a sudden distraction if a big chunk of snow flies up from the bumper onto the windshield. I remember as a teen when I was out with a friend when that exact thing happened. She was driving and was startled so much by the chunk of snow hitting the windshield that she removed her hands from the steering wheel while the car was in motion.
You must also make yourself visible to all road users, so ensure your headlights, turn signals and brake lights are also cleared. I’ve watched how drivers will clear their windows, but leave all of the lights covered up. How can you communicate to other drivers if your signals and brake lights can’t be seen? I keep a squeegee in my vehicle so I can stop every now and then and clean off the lights and signals. It helps me to communicate more effectively.
I know this may have seen obvious to some of you, but if it wasn’t a necessary reminder, why do we see drivers driving along with just enough snow removed from their windshield to make it look like their looking through a porthole?