Snow and ice flying from tractor trailers and cars have caused serious and even fatal accidents. How hazardous are those sheets when they land? In some cases, it could be solid ice that’s coming at you at 60 miles an hour.
The American Transportation Research Institute released a study in 2009 titled “Snow and Ice Accumulation on Vehicles” that included a survey in which 35% of tractor-trailer drivers said snow or ice had fallen from their vehicle and caused injury or property damage to another motorist. More than half the truckers surveyed (54%) said they rarely or never removed ice from the top of their vehicles. In these cases, speed is not the issue; negligence is.
Keeping your vehicle safe for the road is part of your responsibility as an automobile owner. Many would never consider leaving a pile of snow or ice on his or her roof. However, others do not consider that it is unfair, not to mention illegal to leave snow and ice on your vehicle to fall on another driver’s car.
The hazards posed to others on the roadway should be enough to encourage every driver to clear all snow and ice from his or her vehicle. If you choose not to and someone is injured as a result, you are exposing yourself to civil liability for those injuries as well as state imposed fines and penalties.