At least four states including New York have bills pending that require drivers to clear excess ice and snow from their vehicles or face fines. According to a news report in the Indiana Gazette, just like ice chunks that can fall off buildings and hurt pedestrians, pieces of ice may break off vehicles and trailers and cause serious injuries to motorists on roads and highways.
The article gives the example of a New Hampshire man who was struck by a chunk of ice the size of a shoebox that flew off the top of a storage container being hauled by a truck ahead of him. That ice then crashed through his windshield and hit him squarely in the forehead. He escaped with a gash on his forehead and lacerations to his hands and face from broken glass. The 42-year-old man said he could have died if the ice had hit him in the neck and throat.
The Danger of Ice Missiles
This man was the victim of an “ice missile” incident where sheets or blocks of snow and ice slip off or get ejected from roofs and windshields of vehicles and pose a hazard to the occupants of nearby vehicles. Ice missiles also distract drivers and may result in collisions with other vehicles. The objects can crack windshields and lead to horrific injuries or deaths. Officials say even if it doesn’t cause injury or a crash, it can simply be terrifying when driving 65 mph on the highway and seeing something flying toward the windshield.
While police and safety officials have routinely encouraged drivers to keep their vehicles’ roofs and windshields clear of snow and ice, not everyone follows through. A year ago, state troopers in Connecticut warned about an alarmingly high number of missiles flying off vehicles after a late January snow and ice storm. In states such as New York, it’s not illegal to leave the snow there and that’s what legislators are trying to change.
Many in the trucking industry are opposed to these efforts worrying about the dangers of operators trying to remove snow and ice from the tops of the large trucks. Some states allow police to ticket motorists if their vehicle is considered a danger of if the driver cannot see through an icy or snowy windshield. But, so far, only a handful have laws specific to ice missiles.
Tips to Keep Vehicles Free of Ice and Snow
Here are a few tips to clear ice and snow from your vehicle:
• Clear the tailpipe, side windows and rear windows and use the defroster.
• Don’t forget to clear exterior mirrors, headlights, taillights and turn signals.
• If your wipers are more than six months old or they’re not clearing the windows properly, it’s time to replace them.
• To lessen or prevent buildup, you may use a product specifically designed for the purpose on your windows.
• Use the ridged side of a plastic ice scraper to get ice off the windshield. Make vertical slashes down the window, and then scrape across the window surface to break up the ice into smaller chunks.
• Clear snow off the vehicle’s roof before you clear the windows, and also brush the snow off the front hood and trunk before you head out.
• If vehicles can be kept in a garage or under an overhang, it can reduce snow and ice buildup. If that is not available, covering the roof, windshield, and hood of the car with a blanket can allow for easy removal by pulling the blanket away from the vehicle.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Injured victims in such cases will able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. A victim who has been injured by a truck or a commercial vehicle will be able to hold the driver and his employer and/or the trucking company accountable for the injuries, damages and losses caused.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a negligent (careless) driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 48 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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