Ranking up there with high heating bills and 4 p.m. sunsets, scraping ice off your car is one of the most annoying parts of winter. But the alternative to clearing your roof, windows, and windshield before hitting the road is worse. According to Good Housekeeping, some states will fine you up to $1000 for driving with any snow or ice on your car.
There are 11 states that penalize drivers for operating a vehicle without properly cleaning it of snow and ice first. That means if you drive with a sheet of snow on the roof of your car—or a few patches of ice around the edges of your windshield—you're liable for an expensive ticket.
Even if you've scraped enough of the frost off the glass to see the road, driving with an ice-encrusted car is still dangerous. That ice will melt as your engine heats up and potentially fly off your car, creating hazards for the drivers around you. Motorists who are pulled over for having an icy car are often charged with distracted driving or for making the roads dangerous for others. Here are the states where you can be fined for driving with ice or snow on your vehicle:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
Letting your car warm up to melt any snow on the outside may seem like a safe shortcut to cleaning your vehicle, but this can also get you into legal trouble. In New Jersey, idling your car for an extended period of time—even if it's on private property—can earn you a fine up to $1000.
Fortunately, you don't have to choose between driving under dangerous and illegal conditions or getting frostbite scraping every inch of your car. To melt the ice off your car quickly, spray it with a solution of one part water and two parts rubbing alcohol. Alcohol won't freeze in normal winter temperatures, so you won't have to worry about adding more ice to your car in your attempts to clean it off.
[h/t Good Housekeeping]