Moving into the fall season it is now time to inspect your windshield wiper blades and to make sure you have a frost scraper available in your vehicle. Heavy frost, ice and snow on your vehicle's windows will soon become all too common as temperatures dip. Taking a few minutes to completely remove the accumulations will provide you an unobstructed view and will keep you in compliance with the law.
13-1506. Windshields Must be Unobstructed and Equipped With Wipers.
1. No person shall drive a motor vehicle with any sign, poster, frost, condensation, or other nontransparent material upon or in place of the front windshield, sidewings, side or rear windows of such motor vehicle, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law.
2. 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.
3. Every windshield wiper upon a motor vehicle shall be maintained in good working order.
You may have seen others driving while looking out the small area of the windshield cleared by the defroster. Or you may have seen someone who scraped clear a basketball-sized area of the windshield before taking off. Neither example provides enough visibility to operate a motor vehicle safely. Motor vehicles are engineered to provide the driver the optimal ability to see the roadway and the surrounding area. The highest degree of visibility and safety is when all windows are clear. Failure to remove accumulated frost, ice or snow reduces the driver's chance to see and react to a dangerous condition.
Before starting off scrape and brush off your vehicle's windshield, front seat side windows and the rear window. Also clear your outside mirrors. If there is snow or ice on the hood of the vehicle remove that also as it may be drawn into the defrosters once the vehicle is in motion and cause fogging on the inside of the windshield. Starting your vehicle before scraping allows the engine to warm as you clear the windows. A warm engine improves the efficiency of the vehicle's defroster.
There are commercial products available which can assist with maintaining clear visibility. An example would be windshield washer fluid formulated for freezing temperatures. Check with your vehicle dealer or local auto parts store to find the proper products to use with your vehicle.
Some vehicle owners use car covers or cover the windshield with a cloth to avoid a frost or ice accumulation from developing on their windows. If you need to clear your windows but forgot your scrapper an old credit card or your driver's license can be used as a makeshift scraper.
Take time to make sure your windows are clear. A few extra minutes spent in the driveway can help ensure you have a good day.