Cleaning the snow off: don’t drive blind

There are a few things that annoy and worry us in equal measure when driving in the snow.

There are a few things that annoy and worry us in equal measure when driving in the snow.

First, there are the guys in pickup trucks who tailgate the car ahead of them because, hey, who needs extra stopping space on ice?

Many of these same folks seem to enjoy fishtailing all over the road, too, since they don’t have any weight in the bed of the truck. It’s almost like they’re playing a game, except this isn’t bumper cars in an enclosed space, this is a public roadway with other motorists who aren’t playing the same game.

And we say guys, because it usually is, and they’re usually young, too, still in that stage of life where they feel invincible.

Unfortunately for us all, they’re not, and neither are we.

Then there are the folks who don’t bother to properly clean the snow off their vehicles before they hit the road.

Everyone can agree that those who clear only a small porthole on the windshield directly in front of the driver’s seat are dangerous to themselves and others.

That’s just being unforgivably lazy. After all, being able to see is an important part of driving.

If you can’t see out your back window, your side windows, you side mirrors or even the majority of your front windshield you have exponentially increased the chances of an accident.

You may be willing to take that risk, but all the other people on the road shouldn’t be subjected to your bad judgement. Last week someone was even stopped on the Malahat highway with their vehicle in such a condition. That’s a road that can be treacherous even at the best of times. Adding to the risk is just stupid.

But there are other folks who are, shall we say, half-hearted about cleaning off their vehicles who should also think twice and take those few extra minutes.

Many of us may be guilty of having at one time or another left the snow on the top of the vehicle after clearing off the windows.

So what’s all the fuss if you don’t clean of the white topping?

The problem, especially when there’s a significant amount of snow, is that as your vehicle warms up inside the snow on the top of your car starts to melt a little on the underside.

This can make it slide in one solid mass down your back or front window if you come to a stop. Enough snow, like we had last week, and your windshield wipers will not be able to take care of the problem, leaving you, literally, driving blind.

Then of course there’s the annoyance of following someone whose car is shedding snow. So take those extra few minutes. It might save your life.