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Snow on your car? That’s a recipe for liability in a crash.

A woman brushes snow off of her car.
A woman brushes snow off of her car.

Winter weather brings a lot of changes to daily life, and one major change is in the way we drive. Snow causes many issues for drivers and brings many more responsibilities on how to be safe on the road.

As with any road hazard, snow can increase the danger of car accidents. This is why it's important to learn how to drive safely, no matter the circumstance.

Reducing your speed is a key way to diminish the chances of an accident. You do not necessarily need to drive the speed limit when snow is on the road. Additionally, try to avoid accelerating and braking quickly. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

While you may be following all of these guidelines, it is not guaranteed that other drivers also will be. Accidents are much more likely to happen, and you have additional responsibilities during the winter. It is important to uphold them so you won't be liable in a crash.

First, you should always clear snow off of your vehicle. Missouri does not officially have any laws that require you to clear snow off of your car. However, if your driving is impaired and you are in an accident, it may lead to you being responsible.

The most important place to clear snow is your windows. Merely clearing your front windshield will not give you the visibility you need to be a safe driver. The front windshield, side windows, mirrors and back windshield should all be cleared or mostly cleared of snow to allow you to operate a vehicle safely. If you are in an accident and snow was impairing your visibility, this could be a factor in making you liable for the damage.

You should also clear snow from the top of your vehicle. If you reach higher speeds on the road, this snow could blow off and impair other drivers. If snow from your vehicle is a reason for an accident between other cars, you could potentially be responsible. Additionally, if snow blew off of your car and caused direct damage to another vehicle, you may also be liable.

In order to keep your car safe for driving in the winter, you should always be prepared. Always have a good ice scraper on hand and even have some de-icer with you. Give yourself extra time before heading out to make sure that you can remove as much snow from your vehicle as possible.

Taking these steps will help you be a better driver and lower the possibility of an accident. Drive safely this winter and, as always, download the Stormtrack Weather app to receive alerts about the weather in your area.

Weather / Winter Weather
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Nate Splater

Nate forecasts on the weekend edition of ABC 17 News This Morning on KMIZ and FOX 22, KQFX.


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