The Met Office has warned of frosty weather, and while there are lots of ways to de-ice your car safely, there are also lots of wrong ways which can be dangerous and illegal.
We know how it is…you’re late for work and realise your car is covered in an inch of ice, so you boil the kettle…
But stop right there or you could end up with a cracked windscreen!
The only things you should use when de-icing your car is an ice scraper or de-icer liquid. This really is it. Nothing else.
An alternative is to mix up a saltwater solution, soak a towel in it and leave the towel on the windscreen overnight.
You might also want to leave the engine running while you de-ice your car, but this poses safety issues and may also be in breach of the Highway Code which states you must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.
There’s also the risk the vehicle could get stolen if the keys are left in the ignition.
The AA says:
Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car.
Don’t drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen.
Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer. Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock.
Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.
Allow extra time for winter journeys but be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay.
Can I be fined for not clearing my windows before driving away?
Short answer – yes.
There isn’t a law that says it is illegal to drive with snow on your car, hoever the Highway Code says that you must be able to see out of every window clearly during bad weather.
If you fail to do so you could incur a fine, but more importantly could place your life, the lives of your passengers and the lives of those around you in danger.
As for snow on the roof, while, again, there is no law stating it is illegal to drive with snow on your roof, if it falls off onto your windscreen while driving or flies into the path of another car then you could be penalised for such offences as ‘driving without due consideration’ or ‘using a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition’ and again, not worth the risk.
Please be careful when on the roads this week