It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No ... it’s a giant block of frozen snow or ice that blew off a car going 55 mph and is now hurtling toward a line of unsuspecting motorists.

One would think common sense would prevail when it comes to cleaning snow, ice and even frost off a vehicle before taking it out on the road. But several recent incidents, such as the one mentioned above, that have occurred during recent bouts of inclement weather indicate many people are not taking the time and effort to make safety a priority.

When large pieces of frozen snow or ice fly off cars traveling busy highways, it is an extreme hazard.

At best, the ice could hit another car — denting it or perhaps even breaking a window. An even worst scenario would be the ice chunk landing on the windshield, distracting the driver to the point he or she loses control of the vehicle, resulting in an accident and injuries.

We realize, and empathize, with the discomfort associated with standing in freezing temperatures during the early morning hours as one attempts to sweep snow off a car or scrape ice off windshields.

But it must be done.

With gasoline prices still high, many do not want to let their vehicles “warm up” as long as in previous years, knowing each minute of defrost time is money going out of the wallet. However, we must ask if one can put a price tag on safety — for your family or others who will be sharing the roads with you?

This weekend promises to be extremely busy as many people head to the stores to finalize their Christmas shopping. We encourage all local drivers to put safety first and discomfort second before heading out in their cars on a snowy or icy morning.

Make sure the automobile is cleared of all snow and that the windows — including those on the side and rear — are free of frost and ice. And don’t forget to check the headlights and side mirrors to make sure they are clear.

Finally, check to see if the vehicle has plenty of windshield cleaner. All experienced drivers know wet roads can generate sprays of dirty water, which cling to windshields. When the wiper fluid runs dry, this dried muck is almost impossible to see through — again creating another potential danger.

We ask our readers to remember safety is much more important than cold hands or the effort involved in clearing cars of snow. And if you will not perform this common sense task for your own safety, at least do it for your fellow motorists who have no choice but to share the roads with you.

Recommended for you