Is It Illegal to Drive Your Car in Iowa Before Clearing Off the Snow?
The inevitable is finally here. We've recorded our first snowfall of significance this holiday season in eastern Iowa. You may notice cars driving a little bit slower to work today, snow plow trucks out on the road, and cars slipping and sliding on the roadways. Here's a big reminder to just take your time driving today.
This might be the first time a young driver has driven in snow or people maybe haven't quite switched to their winter tires on their cars yet. I know we aren't seeing a giant amount of snow today but let's just be patient while driving.
It's time to bust out the bags of salt, prep your shovels, and grab your windshield scrapers as you'll be using all 3 of those at some point today this winter season. Every year I find myself running into a Casey's gas station or a Kwik Star to buy a new windshield scraper. For some reason, I can never keep track of them.
A windshield scraper is something you should always have in your car during the winter months because you'll never know when you're going to need one. It can snow at any point during the day in Iowa or you might need to scrape off the frost from your windshield if your car is outside for any amount of time. The question is, are you legally obligated to clear off your car before driving?
Is It Against The Law To Drive Without Clearing Your Windshields?
If you don't have a windshield scraper in your car, today is the day to grab one. According to VLaw, "you can be fined for not cleaning your windshield. You need to be able to see properly to drive safely on the road. If pulled over, you could receive a fine for obstruction of vision."
Before you quickly scrape off your front and rear windshields and hit the road, it's important to remember the work doesn't stop there. You also need to clear off any side windows and/or side wings, before you head out to your destination.
Not only that but according to a WHO13 article in 2019, you should be wiping off all of the snow from your car, including any that has accumulated on the roof of your car. According to the article, it's not illegal to drive with snow on the roof of your car but it is recommended as this can be a hazard for other drivers on the roadway.
Anyone who's driven behind a car that hasn't removed the snow from the roof of their car, surely knows it can be a pain in the butt to drive behind someone who's constantly blowing snow in their field of vision. Lt. Troy Baly told WHO13, back in 2019, that troopers don't normally give tickets for car windows covered in snow but they will if they are a factor in an accident.
It's better to be safe than sorry... take the extra minute and clear off as much of the snow and frost from your car as possible. It's never worth risking an accident even if you're running a few minutes late.