You’re late for an engagement or just need to pop to the shops in the car – but it’s covered in snow and ice.
The bottom line is you need a clear view of the road before setting off, you can’t make any shortcuts.
In the eyes of the law, you need to clear that snow before you go. The law
There is no road law that says it is illegal to drive with snow on your car. However, the Highway Code stipulates that if driving in adverse weather conditions you must, by law, be able to see out of every glass panel in your vehicle.
This is supported by the section 41D of the Road Traffic Act 1988, meaning it is a legal requirement to have a clear view of the road ahead before you set off.
Failure to do so 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.
This also means ensuring your windscreen is de-iced on the outside and thoroughly demisted on the inside.
As for the 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’ again, not worth the risk.
Even if you’re only making a two-minute journey, by not thoroughly cleaning your car of snow, ice or condensation – including all windows, lights and even anything that could fall off into the path of another motorists – you’re breaking the law and leaving yourself liable to a run in with the police.
That means fully wiping snow or frost from every window (a quick once over with a credit card or CD case is not good enough!). Use a proper scraper and de-icer. It might cost a few pounds, but it works and will save you time.