Did you know it is illegal to drive with your windscreen still partly covered in frost, ice or partly misted up? If you have ever driven on the road while trying to peer through the small space at the bottom of the windscreen that has demisted then you are breaking the law! It could result in prosecution, a fine and points on your licence.
It is incredibly tempting to do it however. You wake up in the morning, you get dressed, have breakfast, leave your house at the correct time to allow enough time to drive to work and then suddenly…. You notice your car windscreen is frozen over! You now have no time to clear it if you want to get to work on time. It is therefore tempting to clear the windscreen just enough to start your journey. Think about the lack of visibility you now have. Think of the things that you may not see, like a cyclist or a child. Is it really worth taking the risk?
Here are a number of things that you should do before starting your journey according to the highway code:
- All lights must be clean
- Remove snow from your car. Not just from the windows but from the roof and bonnet too
- Demist all windows and mirrors
- Make sure the number plates are clean and visible
- Plan your route and check that there are no further delays that could leave you stranded
Not all of these offences will lead to prosecution, however, if you are involved or you cause an accident then it may well be deemed that you did not drive with “due consideration” for others. Even if you feel that any of the above won’t affect your driving it could still lead to prosecution. You could be faced with receiving 3 penalty points and a £60 fine.
Your insurance could also be invalid! If it is deemed that your car wasn’t properly cleaned, maintained or clear of snow or ice then the insurance company may not pay out in the event of an accident.
So when you wake up in the morning, especially in the late autumn, winter or early spring, take a look outside first. If it looks like there could have been a frost then allow yourself some extra time to prepare your car for the day ahead.