Winter weather poses safety threats to drivers; freezing temperatures, snowfall and slippery roads can increase the likelihood of an accident. There is another dangerous element many drivers don’t account for: ice missiles.
Ice missiles are large chunks of snow and ice that break off of a vehicle while they are driving. These large blocks often fly back and hit other vehicles, breaking their windshield, hitting their car or causing them to swerve.
Just how dangerous are ice missiles?
Ice missiles are a huge problem in Connecticut. Last year, state troopers warned the public of the “alarmingly high” number of ice missiles propelling off of vehicles and harming other drivers.
In Connecticut, drivers fined for failing to remove snow and ice from their vehicles. Additional penalties are as follows:
- A $120 fine for failure to remove snow or ice
- A $200 to $1,000 fine if the failure to remove snow/ice resulted in property damage or injury
- The fine for commercial drivers who fail to remove chunks of snow/ice that result in damage or injury is between $500 and $1,250
Last year, in total, Connecticut State Police fined 372 regular Class D drivers and approximately 150 CDL drivers for failure to remove ice missiles from their vehicles—some of which resulted in injury.
Will the federal government address the ice missile issue?
Trucking companies are worried that the requirement to remove snow and ice from semi-trucks would endanger their employees; thus, they are turning to the government to address the issue.
At least one state senator agrees that the federal government should intervene, explaining that there is technology that can remove the ice missiles without requiring a driver to physically remove the snow from the semi-trailer.
The proponents would like the government to invest in snow-removal equipment and make it available at truck stops and weigh stations. The advocates additionally note the urgency and importance of providing safe driving conditions for all vehicles.