With the winter months fast approaching, many automobile drivers will shortly be awakening to snow-covered cars, and be faced with the decision as to whether to take the additional 15-20 minutes to adequately clear off one’s car, or alternatively, to just get in one’s car and drive off hoping that the wind and defrost will eventually remove such snow. The failure to remove accumulated snow and ice poses a problem to not only the driver, but also bystanders, and other drivers, which may be traveling behind and have accumulated snow or ice impairing their vision, or more severely, hitting the windshield of innocent drivers.
A few years ago, Pennsylvania highways came to a standstill when semi-trucks accumulated snow, which ended up posing a huge hazard to drivers, where so-called “ice missiles” fell off the tops of trucks, causing significant accidents, injuries, and other damage. As a result, many states, including South Carolina, are implementing various laws, similarly referred to as “ice missile” laws, which gives law enforcement authorities the ability to cite drivers for failing to adequately clear off accumulated snow and ice from their cars. Specifically, such laws provides that drivers “shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state….” Additionally, the proposed laws set very significant fines, fees, and other penalties as a result of such citations being issued, including points and possibly license suspension as a result.
From a liability perspective, such laws, especially if and when passed in South Carolina, should give drivers sufficient pause for concern, where if a South Carolina driver fails to clear off accumulated snow or ice from their car, the failure to do so could result in negligence, especially where many courts will presume negligence simply by the failure of a particular driver to obey traffic laws, in this case, the “ice missile” laws. As such, with the onset of winter near, South Carolina drivers should be especially astute, aware, and plan for snow, and take the additional time and effort to insure your car is cleared from accumulated snow and ice. If drivers fail to do so, they should be prepared for the potential legal consequences of failing to do so, including the loss of driving privileges and civil liability.
Can Our Attorneys Help You?
If you have suffered harm or injury as a result of car accident involving accumulated ice or snow you need a reliable source of legal experience to assist you in navigating the various personal injury issues you may face. The Connell Law Firm has seasoned and experienced attorneys who understand the challenges faced by individuals that have been harmed as a result, and are available for a free consultation to discuss legal issues with you.