Michigan has been lucky when it comes to snowfall so far this season, but inevitably, snow will be here, and that means it’s time to brush up on your snow removal laws.
Driving in Michigan weather in the winter can be dangerous, but it’s made even worse when the windows on your car are covered with snow. It’s difficult enough to drive in the low visibility of a snowstorm and deal with other drivers on the road not taking the proper precautions, but having snow on your windows makes visibility much worse.
That’s why there’s an actual law against driving with snow and ice on your windows. Driving safely should be enough of an incentive, but if that’s not enough, the law should convince you to do the right thing.
The Michigan Vehicle Code states, “A person shall not deposit, or cause to be deposited, snow, ice or slush on any roadway or highway.” That also includes not cleaning snow and ice off the roof of your vehicle, because the snow can fall on your windows while driving. That includes clearing snow off all exterior lights, including headlights, taillights and brake lights, too.
So, if you’re leaving your destination and are tempted to skip clearing off that windshield snow, don’t do it. You’re legally required to remove all snow, ice and slush from your vehicle before hitting the road, or else you could get fined.
Another Michigan state statute to remember during the cold winter months: When removing snow, you cannot “deposit or cause to be deposited snow, ice, or slush onto or across the roadway, or on the shoulder of the roadway that obstructs the safety vision of a driver.” In other words, when removing snow from your property, you aren’t allowed to put it somewhere that obstructs someone’s safety vision.