"Clear the snow before you go" is a new slogan that AAA is stressing to drivers to avoid so-nicknamed ice missiles that could fly off cars and pose a danger to other drivers.
Drivers also face fines in Connecticut under state law requiring motorists to clear snow and ice from the tops of cars before hitting the roads. If snow or ice launches from your roof on the road and slams into another vehicle, you could be fined $75 or as much as $1,000 if it injures someone or damages property, according to AAA.
Uncleared cars pose a particular risk on highways like Interstate 95, I-84 or Route 15 in snowstorms, particularly if the snow or ice falls off cars at a high speed, according to AAA.
“Leaving snow or ice on top of your car while you’re driving 60 mph, becomes a safety hazard to other drivers,” AAA Northeast spokesman Fran Mayko said. “It’s also downright rude with-out taking into consideration how your actions could affect others.”
State regulations banning travel with snow on your car were signed into law in 2013. Former State Rep. Larry Cafero, of Norwalk, penned the legislation "after his wife was a 'victim' of flying snow," according to AAA.
"A sheet of ice flew off a truck and smashed into the vehicle she was driving on the thruway," AAA said in a news release. "She reportedly was unhurt, but frightened as anyone would be if they’ve ever experienced a similar situation."
The law states that drivers “shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk or roof of such motor vehicle so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state.”
The only exception that won't warrant a ticket is snow or precipitation that falls on the car while you're already traveling.
Mayko recommends using a scraper and brush that has a "telescoping handle" to allow you further reach across your car. A push broom is ideal for larger vehicles and truck drivers can use "long rakes," she said.
"It takes 10 minutes of your time to practice good driver etiquette in your driveway,” Mayko said.