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.