Ask A Trooper: Clear your vehicle of ice and snow before driving

Published 5:44 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

We all know the dangers of driving with snow and ice on the roads, but driving with snow and ice on your vehicle is also a hazard. Always take time to remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before traveling.

This is for your safety and the safety of other drivers. Snow and ice left on your hood, roof and trunk can shift and blow off – blinding you or the driver behind you. Limited visibility can also occur if snow and ice are sucked into the fresh air intake of your vehicle (normally located near the bottom of the front windshield). It can create moisture fog inside your windows and windshield. 

Email newsletter signup

It is also important to clear snow and ice from:

• Headlights and taillights to see and be seen.

• External camera lenses and side view mirrors so you’ll be able to see what’s around you.

• External sensors to allow the assistive-driving features like automatic emergency braking to work.

When traveling behind a vehicle with ice or snow falling from it, give yourself plenty of room to avoid being hit with debris or having your vision obstructed. Pass the vehicle only if it is safe to do so.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,