Do I need to clear the snow off of the roof of my car?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs on Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 at 8:19 am
Person clearing snow off car roof

Is It Illegal to Drive with Snow on my Roof?

Walking out in the freezing cold and seeing your vehicle covered in snow is the worst. It means multiple minutes clearing off the snow and many more if you have to scrape ice off. Which itself means standing out in the cold, getting snow in your shoes and socks, freezing your fingers, and just being all around uncomfortable. But what if you just clear off the windows? Is that okay?

Do you really need to clear the snow off of the roof your car? Or it is illegal?


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close up on snow covered headlight

Driving with Snow on Your Roof

At the time of writing, our home state of Wisconsin only legally requires you to clear off your windows. However, in other states, such as Michigan, it is legally required. And in many places where there is no state law against it specifically, police can fine you for things like reckless endangerment. And, if the snow slides off your roof onto the rear window, that is illegal. Regardless of legality, though, you should clear the snow off of the roof of your vehicle. Even if it’s legal to leave snow on your roof in some places, if the snow dislodges and damages someone else’s vehicle or obstructs someone’s view and causes an accident, you can be held liable for the resulting damage. That means you could be stuck paying automotive repairs and medical bills for affected parties.

Driving with Snow on Headlights/Taillights

Like the roof of your car, not clearing off your headlights and taillights isn’t illegal. Doing so is the smart choice, however. Not only will doing so help you see in hazardous winter conditions, but it will also help others see you and react properly to your slowing down or lane changes.

Need Some Repair Work Done?

Whether your vehicle needs some regular maintenance or major repairs, Hall Mazda has you covered. Give us a call to schedule an appointment or set one up online with our online scheduler.

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