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It’s winter and we’ve had our first sizable snowfall. An obvious risk of driving during the winter is hitting patch of ice and losing control of your vehicle. But another risk is vehicles that are only partially cleared of snow and ice. I’ve seen numerous vehicles with only a small section of the windshield cleared. Please don’t be this person. Not only is the lack of visibility dangerous, but the snow that flies off the vehicle while it’s moving can be just as hazardous to the traffic behind it. And it’s unlawful to drive with a snow-covered windshield.

The Ohio Revised Code prohibits people from driving a vehicle that has its windshield, side windows, and rear window covered in nontransparent material (i.e. snow). A violation of this law is a minor misdemeanor that can result in up to a $150 fine, plus court costs. But just as important, driving with a snow-covered windshield, side window, or rear window could result in an accident. So, a minor traffic citation is not the only potential penalty. You could subject yourself to civil liability if you cause an accident that results in bodily injury or other damage.

The bottom line, please remove all the snow from your vehicle before you drive, including the snow on the windshield, side windows, rear window, hood, and roof. If you don’t, you put yourself and other drivers at risk. And you subject yourself to a traffic citation and civil liability if you cause an accident. It’s not worth the risk. Please remove ALL the snow from your vehicle.

Please note that this article provides only general information and does not provide specific legal advice. It should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.