Scrapping off your car is one of the worst parts of winter in Canada. It's usually freezing cold outside and scrapping takes so long that you end up running late for everything. Scrapping is super important though because Ontario police are responding to multiple crashes right now after drivers didn't clear ice off their cars. It's especially a big concern with the intense winds today.
What happens in these instances is, if you have ice or snow off the top of your car it can fly off as you drive. This is almost certain when you're going over 100km/hour on the highway and especially in winds like there are today. That means the chunks of ice and snow are also flying at high speeds.
When this happens, they can fly right into the windshields of cars behind you. Base case scenario the car ends up with a small dent on the hood or chip on the windshield. Worst case the windshield is completely shattered, injuring or even killing the driver of the car. A smashed windshield also completely eliminates a driver's visibility and puts all the other cars at risk too.
According to the OPP, this is a very real danger as well. Sergeant Kerry Schmidt tweeted from one of these incidents just this afternoon and revealed that officers were responded to dozens of these types of crashes today.
This is what happens if you don’t clear your vehicle of ice and snow https://t.co/1mIg1YGZzN— Sgt Kerry Schmidt (@OPP_HSD) February 8, 2019
The crash in that video is on Highway 400 near Finch. The ice reportedly flew off a truck and completely smashed into the windshield of a small car. The driver was being treated by paramedics on the scene. Schmidt doesn't specify a number but says they have had dozens of these calls today alone.
He is now using the video and this crash as a way to caution drivers about the dangers of not clearing your car. He also asks that anyone driving should clear their car of all snow and ice before leaving their driveway, especially today.
This isn't a rare occurrence either. Other drivers are sharing their experiences of being hit by ice or snow on the highways.
Yesterday on the 401 heading W by a truck heading E. pic.twitter.com/kNC3DwOP7y— MEK (@MeredithKarosas) February 8, 2019
On many occasions in the last few years I've had to hit the brakes or swerve on the highway to avoid being hit by flying ice or snow chunks coming off of vehicles that ranged from large transport trucks to even small passenger cars. I had to replace my windshield last year.— Richard Kannegiesser (@rkannegi) February 8, 2019
Got hit 3 times yesterday by flying ice on the 407... thank goodness no major damage to my car.... but left me on edge for rest of the day!— LC aka Oscars Mom (@LCakaOscarsMom) February 8, 2019
While there isn't a clear law that you have to remove all the snow or ice off your car, if you are found at fault for a crash were blowing ice from your car caused a crash, you could be fined. The charge is called driving with an unsecured load, and while it's not often applied to snow, it has been in the past.
None the less, Schmidt has said before even if it's not strictly illegal, driving with ice and snow is still irresponsible and unsafe.