Clearing snow off your car can be so irritating. The morning after a snowstorm, it takes a lot of time and effort just to get your car clear enough to open the driver side door.
Many drivers think scraping snow and ice from your windshield and the windows should be enough. If you don't get all the snow off of the roof, for instance, it's not that big of a deal, right? Not according to a Press Herald article.
Large chunks of snow and ice that are left on the roof of a vehicle can fly off when the car starts to pick up speed. Those chunks of snow and ice can then slam into the nearest car on the road, potentially damaging that car and harming the driver and passengers inside. Depending on the amount of snow and the speed of the car on which it had been, the damage and injuries sustained can be significant. Or, that snow could land on someone's windshield and obstruct their vision, potentially causing a collision.
At the moment, there aren't any laws in Maine requiring drivers to clean all snow and ice off of their car. You are only required to clean debris such as snow and ice from the windshield, the driver's side window and the front passenger window. In short, you just need to be able to see the road in front of you.
However, there are still consequences for snow left on your car. Bruce Scott, the Lieutenant of Maine State Police, made this point; "If [snow or ice] falls off and damages someone's vehicle or hurts someone, you're facing some serious civil liability, which is far worse than any traffic violation you may be responsible for."
Ten minutes makes a difference
Regardless of whether or not an official ordinance is in place, nothing is worth risking the lives of others on the road. When you cut corners and drive off too quickly with snow or ice still on the roof or hood of your car, you are endangering the lives of those around you.
We must all take the time to properly remove all snow and ice from our cars in the morning, as well as mud or other debris. In the wintertime, especially after a nor'easter, plan an additional 10 to 15 minutes of travel time in the morning to properly clear your car before heading to work.
Taking extra time in the morning could mean the difference between an accident and arriving to work safely, both for yourself and for others on the road. Maine car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein have seen what can happen when drivers rush to work without first clearing their car of snow.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the road by flying debris from another vehicle, contact us today and find out how we can help you. Our attorneys know the Maine law and have the experience and expertise to handle even the most complex claims. In over 40 years, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein has helped more than 25,000 injured or disabled Mainers get the justice they deserve.