Motorists who fail to clear snow from their cars are at risk of getting penalty points and a fine and it will also hit hard in the purse, as the added weight of the snow also burns more fuel!
As many parts of the country shiver under heavy snow falls, Halfords research reveals that almost one in five drivers (that’s nearly six million motorists in the UK) don’t remove the snow from their cars before setting out.
While most people clear snow from their windscreen and rear window (and even from their drive), many of us leave the roof of their cars untouched. An easy thing to do when you’re rushing to work or trying to get the kids to school or nursery quickly so you can catch a train, but if you have an accident along the way, you could be prosecuted for careless or inconsiderate driving.
Imagine if you’re driving along and snow left on the roof of your car falls forward onto your windscreen, obscuring the view. Or if the snow falls off backwards causing a hazard for the driver travelling behind you…
What the law says
The fixed penalty for driving with an obscured windscreen is three points on your license and a £60 fine, but the consequences can be far greater if snow from your car is deemed to have been a factor in an accident.
Still mot bothered? Here’s what Rule 229 of the Highway Code states:
- Before you set off you must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows.
- You must ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible, make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly.
- Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users.
- Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.
Halfords winter motoring expert Alan Rennie said: “Driving with snow on your car roof could land you with a £60 fine and three points on your licence. It could be even worse if you are involved in an accident because of snow falling off your car – if police chose to prosecute for careless or inconsiderate driving.
Burning a hole in your pocket
Snow on the rood also reduces fuel efficiency. Experts at Halfords discovered that a four-inch, overnight fall of snow on top of an average-sized car roof typically adds 35kg to the weight of their vehicle. This can reduce your fuel efficiency by 2% if left on the car. Nationally this means drivers could be wasting £110,000 by burning extra fuel every time it snows, Halfords experts calculate.