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Can You Get Fined For Not Clearing Snow Off Your Windshield?

The short answer is yes. Keep reading for the details on fines, insurance, and more.

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by Team Onlia
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When you sign up for car insurance, you don't go in blind. So why would you drive your car with a snow-covered windshield?

Of course, impaired visibility due to snow on the front and back windows of your vehicle doesn’t come to mind at first. Who would be silly enough to drive their car with snow blocking their view of the road?

As it turns out, a lot of people are — so much so that fines for such carelessness have been written into Section 74 of Ontario's Highway Traffic Act, which has the penalty officially listed as an $85 fine, plus a $25 surcharge. 

Section 74 states that the driver must be able to see clearly out the front, driver and passenger sides, and rear windows of their vehicle, and evaluating a driver’s visibility is left to the discretion of the acting officer.

In most cases, though, drivers leave little wiggle room for debate.

Car insurance will not cover you in this case

Onlia car insurance can save you money and time, but it cannot save you from the penalties associated with driving with snow blocking your line of sight.

While it can involve a bit of elbow grease to remove a layer of ice caked onto your windows, you can just as easily throw your defroster on and wait 5 to 10 minutes before you hit the road. If you don’t, you risk getting a $110 ticket.

So, clean glass means ‘good to go’?

Not so fast.

An unimpeded view for you as a driver is one-half of the Section 74 requirements. The other half involves unimpeded views of you by other drivers, and this includes your lights and your licence plate — both of which should be free of snow before you start driving.

For this reason, a low-quality snowbrush won’t do the trick. The Onlia’s advice is to spend the money on a snowbrush that will last, and on one that makes the most sense for your car. For example, if you drive an SUV, your snow brush should be extendable.

As for the best way to clear your snow, Onlia says to start with the roof and do the sides last. But remember: if you do the roof second, you’ll have to do the sides twice.

They also dispelled a commonly held myth that raising your wipers for the night makes scraping the snow off your windshield easier in the morning.

It will be harder to clean your car in the morning because you’ll have two frozen, poorly placed impediments. Also, the raised wipers are vulnerable to heavy snow or strong winds. That compromises the wipers’ effectiveness by warping them or creating imperfections. By spring, they’ll be making an awful squeak and not following the contours of the window.

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Why do they have fines for this anyway?

Imagine yourself driving along the highway on a bright winter afternoon. The sun warmth has turned the snow into icy chunks.

With that same sun in your eyes, you lower your visor and cut off the top end of your driving vision. You’re now concentrating on the road, a bit tenser than you usually are.

Do you want to be worried about a sizeable piece of ice flying off the car in front of you and crashing into your windshield?

In another circumstance, do you want to worry about a driver in front of you whose brake lights are hidden by snow?

That’s why they have fines. And they’re the easiest ones to avoid. All it takes is a few extra minutes of cleaning and you’re free of responsibility.

Take the time to find the right online car insurance provider

Look for an insurer that prioritizes and rewards safety. Look for one that gives you discounts on top of already-reasonable rates. Look for autonomy to build a policy that works for you and your family. And look for a provider you know has the pedigree to be there for you with the help you need when you need it most.

When you factor in these four requirements, you’re left with one choice: Go online with Onlia for car insurance.

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