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Holding Icon Jan 2013 | Snow on Cars

Jan 2013 | Snow on Cars

January 2013

Motorists who fail to clear snow from their cars risk penalty points and a fine and will also nationally waste hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of fuel by driving off with added weight on the roof.*

As many parts of the country shiver under heavy snow falls, Halfords research reveals that almost one in five, equating to nearly 6 million motorists in the UK don?t remove the snow from their cars before setting out.

While most people clear snow from their windscreen and rear window and even their drive, many leave the roof of their cars untouched. This could lead to prosecution for careless or inconsiderate driving if they were involved in an accident.

Situations where this could occur include; snow left on the roof falling forward onto a driver's windscreen, obscuring the view. Or similarly if the snow falls off backwards causing a hazard for motorists travelling behind.

Snow on the road also reduces fuel efficiency. Experts at Halfords discovered that a 4 inch, overnight fall of snow on top of an average sized car roof typically adds 35kg to the weight of their vehicle. This could cut fuel efficiency by 2% if people drive off without removing it. Nationally this means drivers could be wasting £110,000 by burning extra fuel every time it snows, Halfords experts calculate.

Police warn the fixed penalty for driving with an obscured windscreen is three points and a £60 fine, but the consequences can be far greater if snow from your car is deemed to have been a factor in an accident. Rule 229 of the Highway Code states:

  • Before you set off you must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows.
  • You must ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible, make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
  • Remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
  • Check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted

Halfords winter motoring expert Alan Rennie said: "Driving with snow on your car roof could land you with a 60 fine and three points on your licence. It could be even worse if you are involved in an accident because of snow falling off your car - if police chose to prosecute for careless or inconsiderate driving.

"But on top of that, now we know it will cost motorists money to carry that extra icy weight around with them. Our research should give all drivers that extra incentive to remove the snow from most parts of their car, not just the windows, before they set off. It's very simple to use a snow brush and clear the roof."