|An example of how NOT to clean snow off your vehicle|
Captain Bill Andrew of the Windham Police Department spoke with The Windham Eagle. He offered some advice as to the importance of proper snow removal. “Obstructed windshield or side windows can lead to poor driving and hamper people’s ability to see in all directions,” said Andrew.
Before you begin clearing off your vehicle, check your tailpipe. If it’s clogged with snow or ice, it can release Carbon Monoxide into your vehicle. This has the highest chance of occurring if your vehicle is backed against a snowbank, so be very careful and try to keep the tailpipe clear.
Next, turn the vehicle’s defroster on before you begin clearing off it off. It will melt the snow piled up on the exterior of your vehicle. Make sure you leave plenty of time in the morning if it’s snowed (even a little) the night before.
It is crucial to never pour hot water over your windshield to try to melt the snow. The fast temperature change can cause glass to crack or shatter.
When it comes to cleaning off our vehicles, we all know to clear off the ‘Big Three.’ Those being the windshield, the back window and your windows. However, it is equally important to clear off the ‘Other Big Three’ These are the roof, the trunk and the hood.
“In 2015, there were [at least] 20 accidents [from snow flying off a vehicle’s roof],” remarked Andrew.
He further explains, “Your roof may not affect you, but can affect the cars behind you and even cause damage.”
Don’t forget to clear off your headlights, front and back. You want to be seen by other drivers and you want them to see you. “Day or night, when there’s snow, you want to have the brightest road in front of you; blocked headlights can impede driving for you and an oncoming car, advises Andrew.
Also, other parts of the vehicle that might get overlooked, especially if you’re in a hurry, are the driver and passenger side mirrors. It’s a good idea to wipe off your windshield wipers too. The more visibility you create for yourself, particularly in bad weather, the better off we all are.
And when it comes to travelling in bad weather, “go slow in the snow.” Going too fast, even if you’re running late, only increases the chances of something bad happening.
“It is much safer to go slow; try to plan ahead and have what you need. Give yourself extra time…give yourself extra braking room. [It’s important to have] extra room coming up to intersections, stoplights and cars in front of you,” said Andrew.