A Massachusetts Citation and a Reminder to Clear Your Windshield This Winter
Winter Storm Benji coated quite a few states with snow this weekend, from Florida to Maine. Massachusetts was one of its victims; Boston alone got 6.1 inches of snow, as reported by the National Weather Service.
While most drivers recognize the importance of clearing the windshield before embarking on any wintry drives, some fall into the “in-a-hurry-and-don’t-care” category. Just this morning, Massachusetts State Police Trooper, Dustin Fitch, pulled over one such driver in Leominster.
— Dustin Fitch (@DustinGFitch) December 11, 2017
“It’s a danger to you and the other motorists around you,” Fitch explained. The car’s driver opted for cleaning off his vehicle to avoid the citation.
All other drivers passing through Massachusetts should be aware that the state can charge you up to $200 in fines if your vehicle is swathed in snow. Other states incur citations, as well; check the American Trucking Association’s website to see if your state is on the list.
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This story serves as a timely reminder to keep your vehicle free of snow, to ensure that you and other drivers stay safe. Here are just some strategies to help you keep your windshield as clean as possible this season.
Allow for Extra Time
Inclement weather usually translates to longer drives. Make sure to check the weather report the night before and morning of your commute or road trip, to familiarize yourself with the latest road conditions. Plan to leave at least 15-20 minutes earlier than usual when the weather is snowy and/or icy, so you have sufficient time for clearing your driveway and/or vehicle windshield.
If you park your vehicle outside, make sure to keep two or more ice scrapers in your trunk, in case one of them breaks while chipping away at some particularly stubborn ice. Another great option is to invest in a windshield protector that acts as a barrier to keep the glass clean and minimize the time you have to spend de-icing.
A Supplement to Scraping
Defrosting your vehicle is yet another easy way to help speed up the process of excavating your vehicle from snow and ice. Make sure to start your vehicle 15-20 minutes before your departure time and set the dial to “high,” so the defrost mode has enough time to start melting away the fluffy debris before you finish the job with a scraper.
Keep it Clean
Sometimes the inside of your windshield is an often overlooked maintenance item. Once a week, schedule time to clean this region of your vehicle, to make sure you stay safe when you get behind the wheel. Check your local auto store or online for windshield cleaning sprays. There are also anti-fog sprays you can coat the inside of the windshield with, for extra help in keeping it clear.
Any dampness inside of your vehicle can contribute to a foggy windshield in winter (e.g. a wet gloves and/or gloves, a steaming coffee cup). If you have wet clothing items from de-icing your vehicle, consider putting them in the trunk to help reduce the moisture in the cabin. Use closed-lid cups or thermoses to transport any hot beverages you might need for your morning commute.
By incorporating these practices into your routine and vehicle maintenance, you can enjoy increased visibility and safety even on the snowiest of days this winter.
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