With the amount of snow we get here in Wyoming, I’m sure everybody has at least seen that vehicle as pictured below, once, if not twice. It’s kind of a chore to clear snow off your vehicle. Do we have to do it? Is it safe if we don’t?
Do You Legally Have To Clear Snow Off Vehicle?
In some States, such as Tennesee, drivers can be charged with misdemeanor reckless driving for not clearing ice/snow. Does it even snow in Tennesse that much? The murfreesboropost.com says that “peephole drivers” who don’t clear all of the windshields can be “…deemed to be “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property”.
What about Wyoming?
If you do a search for the word “snow” in Wyoming Statute Title 31, you’ll likely come across snowmobile laws and tire laws. There isn’t much in the way of a direct, ‘you must clear all the snow off your vehicle’ part. Here is what it does say:
“315955. Windshields and wipers.
(a) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other material or substance upon or crack within the front windshield, side or rear windows of the vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver’s clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.
(b) The windshield on every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle. This subsection shall apply to multipurpose vehicles as defined in W.S. 311101(a)(xv)(M) when equipped with a windshield and an enclosed cab.”
The law, in basic layman’s terms, says you must clear all of your vehicle windows from obstruction.
Common sense tells us that flying debris, whatever it might be, can be dangerous. If someone’s brake lights are covered in snow, other drivers won’t know their braking. Snow covered headlights and turn signals can also be hazardous.
Tip: If there is a LOT of snow on your vehicle, use a broom to get the majority of it off. Leave a small layer so the paint doesn’t get scratched. Alternatively, use a foam-tipped broom like the one pictured on the left.