We here at Diesel & Hybrid want to take 5 minutes to alert motorists to the hazards which uncleared snow and ice can cause on cars. Drivers risk their car, driving licence and safety by failing to take simple steps to clear their vehicle windscreen in icy weather.
As the weather gets colder we’d like to urge all or readers to ‘warm up for winter’ and properly manage all aspects of their car maintenance and preparation for driving in cold and icy conditions.
If motorists do not wait for the whole windscreen to clear and instead drive with just a small ‘porthole’ of visibility ahead they face criminal prosecution by the police and could face a driving ban. A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “Failing to clear your windscreen of ice or frost constitutes careless driving and would be punishable with points on your licence and a fine. The exact penalty is dependent on the circumstances and severity of the offence committed, and would be decided in a criminal court.”
Likewise with removing snow from the roof of the vehicle; failure to clear snow from the roof can lead to a criminal prosecution! Snow left uncleared will start to become unstable as the heat inside the car increases, causing the bottom layer touching the roof to begin to melt. The snow is then free to slide forwards as the car brakes, often landing on the bonnet of the vehicle and obscuring the windscreen.
It is also important to know that drivers who run the car engine to heat the windscreen but leave the vehicle unattended – known as ‘frosting’ – are committing an offence if the vehicle is left on a public highway. Although leaving a car running on a private driveway isn’t breaking the law, it is a prime target for opportunistic thieves.
According to insurance company estimates, around 2,000 cars are stolen each year when ‘frosting’, worth around £12.7m. Remember, your car insurance is usually invalidated if a policyholder/driver leaves a vehicle with the keys in the ignition!
While frustrated motorists often resort to using tools such as stiletto heels (yes, really!), CD cases, credit cards* and finger nails to scrape at stubborn ice, one in 10 confesses to pouring a kettle of boiling water onto the windscreen, running the risk of cracking the screen and sustaining a costly replacement.
We here at Diesel & Hybrid always strive to promote safe and sensible vehicle ownership and so we are offering a winter windscreen care kit in our free to enter Christmas prize draw.
All you need to do is Follow us on Twitter (@Dervhead1), tweet the link to this and our prize draw tweets and you could find you self receiving a Carplan Winter Safety Kit parcel including 500mlall seasons screenwash, 300ml deicer & ice scraper courtesy of us here at Diesel & Hybrid.
* Although according to our Editor, a credit card is perfectly satisfactory for deicing the wings of his airplane!!