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Why Connecticut drivers must remove snow and ice from their cars

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2023 | Car Accidents |

Winter means snow in Bridgeport, which means snow-covered, icy roads after a storm. But slippery highways and surface streets are not the only way winter weather can cause a violent car accident in Connecticut.

Snow piles up on motor vehicles parked outside just as much as it does on the ground. In a good snowstorm, your windshields, side mirrors, roof and hood can quickly get buried. Responsible drivers brush off snow and scrape away ice accumulation before hitting the road. But you still see people trying to drive with mostly- or entirely-covered windows and mirrors.

Snow brushing law

Clearing snow off your vehicle is not just an important safety precaution. It’s the law in Connecticut. A state statute requires motorists to “remove any accumulated ice or snow from [their] motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof… 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 the street or highway of this state.”

A violation of this law with a non-commercial vehicle (i.e., your personal car, pickup truck or SUV) that results in personal injury or property damage means a fine of $200-1,000. For a commercial vehicle like a semi, the penalties go up to $500-1,250. Otherwise, a violation can cause a $75 fine. The statute does not mention points on the violator’s driver’s license or any other punishment, however.

Getting compensated after a snow-covered vehicle hurts you

These fines, and common sense, should encourage most people to clean off their vehicles before trying to drive. But you cannot control how much effort other people on the road make to keep themselves and everyone else reasonably safe. However, if a driver crashes into you and harms you because they could not see through a snow-covered window or mirror, you likely have a good case for compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.



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