The weather in the early part of the year can be pretty miserable, with wind, rain, sleet and snow, and 2016 has been no exception so far. You would imagine that motorists, especially in places that are prone to extreme weather, would be prepared for wintry weather in winter. Apparently not. A motorist in Scotland appears to have been caught out by an overnight snow storm and didn’t have time to clear the snow off the car before setting out. Video footage has emerged of a car being driven along with the windscreen practically covered with snow, during the morning rush hour on a road near to Aberdeen.
The 4X4 vehicle, a dark blue Nissan Qashqai with only a small area of the windscreen cleared of snow, was spotted on the B9119 at around 8 in the morning following a night of heavy snow. Here is a short clip of the dashcam footage, which has been posted and widely shared on YouTube. The vehicle can be seen travelling at a fair speed in a line of other traffic, and apparently it continued on for at least 6 miles. The windscreen is totally covered with snow apart from a small circle in front of the driver, which has been cleared.
Comments from road safety organisations include branding the driver as ‘selfish’ and ‘reckless’, and a spokesman on behalf of the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) claimed that the driver was putting his or her own, and other road user’s lives at risk. Neil Greig stated that clearing a ‘letterbox’ before driving was always a poor decision, and that the driver should have taken the time to clear all of the windscreen and side windows before setting off.
Clear your windscreen
Leaving the snow on the windscreen means that the inside of the screen would quickly become misted up and that would make it even harder for the driver to see other road users, road signs and pedestrians. He also commented that social media was making it easier for people who observed dangerous behaviour on the roads to publicise it, which was a good thing as it made motorists more accountable for their actions.
Clear off all the snow
If you set off with your car covered in snow, even if you have totally cleared your windscreen, any snow left on the bonnet often blows up as you drive, which means you are driving through your own private snowstorm. When the car warms up, the snow on the roof begins to melt, and if you brake sharply, you can end up with the snow sliding down across your windscreen, obscuring your vision until the windscreen wipers can clear it away. In the case of the driver in the Qashqai, the snow above the cleared area could have very easily slipped down and closed it off, leaving him or her totally unable to see.
It really was foolish and irresponsible to set off with the car in such a condition – even if you’re late for work, it isn’t worth taking the risk, and this driver could have been literally dying to get somewhere on time. The video has been brought to the attention of the police, who say they are looking into the matter.