Snow-covered cars create hazard for other drivers

Snow-covered cars create hazard for other drivers

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The snow arrives this week, with the potential of several inches of snow for northeast Ohio. The system has been pounding the Midwest and is headed our way. Tuesday morning's commute could be a messy one. One thing to remind drivers is to make sure they clear their cars of any snow on hoods are trunks.

"Ice and snow interferes with your vision and can become dangerous projectiles that damage other vehicles and affect the visibility of drivers near your automobile," according to Bevi Powell, Senior Vice President, AAA East Central.

Ohio law requires you remove all snow from your windows, but the roof, hood, and trunk aren't included. Officials said some chunks of snow and ice can actually fly off and cause accidents. The Ohio law may help protect motorists' visibility, but doesn't combat the dangers snow causes as a projectile.

AAA would like to remind drivers to make additional preparations for driving on icy and snowy roads:

  • Make sure the battery and charging system are in good condition.
  • Have the brakes inspected, and check that they apply smoothly and evenly to help prevent wheels from locking when the roads get slippery.
  • Ensure proper tire inflation. The air pressure in tires will drop 1-2 psi for every 10 degrees drop in outside temperature. Under-inflation can reduce traction and damage tires.
  • Choose narrow tires over wide tires for best snow traction. Wide tires “float” on top of snow, while narrow tires cut through it for better traction.
  • Make sure the engine coolant provides adequate anti-freeze protection. A 50/50 mixture of antifreeze and water provides protection to -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius).
  • Visibility is very important in adverse weather conditions. Replace wipers that streak the windshield, and consider using winter wiper blades that have rubber covers to prevent snow and ice buildup from impairing effectiveness. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with an antifreeze washer solvent.
  • Keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to minimize condensation that can lead to gas line freeze-up.
  • Carry a winter driving kit for use in the event of an emergency. The kit should include tire chains (if legal in the area driven), a small bag of abrasive material (sand, salt, cat litter), a small snow shovel, a snow brush, traction mats, a flashlight with new batteries, window washing solvent, an ice scraper, a cloth or roll of paper towels, jumper cables, a blanket, warning devices (flares or triangles), a charged cellular phone, drinking water, a pair of gloves and extra clothes.

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