Driving lesson

Driving after the winter storm? Watch out for “ice missiles”

AUSTIN (KXAN) – If you’re hitting the road today, you may have noticed many cars driving around with ice still covering them. This can be extremely dangerous and could cause an accident or damage a passing vehicle.

Often referred to as “ice missiles”, these leftover shards of ice can slide off the driver’s windshield or even fly away at high speed. AAA advises eliminating all “ice missiles” before hitting the road; saying “snow (or ice) falling from the roof of your car can limit the visibility of others on the road”, while putting you in danger.

Ice falling off your car can cause damage in several ways:

  • Damage a windshield
  • Destroy someone else’s vehicle
  • Scrape paint off your own or someone else’s car
  • Ice could slip and obscure your view while driving

In at least 4 states and the District of Columbia, leaving ice on your car while driving is illegal, according to the American Trucking Association. There are several states where you can receive a citation for having ice on your vehicle. In Pennsylvania, for example, you could win a $1,000 ticket.

Texas currently has no such law and does not issue citations.

How to remove ice from your car

AAA has a few tips for removing ice from your car after a freeze:

  • Use de-icer. An easy way to do this at home is to mix rubbing alcohol with water in a spray bottle.
  • Wipe your windshield before using your wiper. Ice could damage your windshield wiper.
  • Work from top to bottom, pulling the ice towards you so you don’t have to clean the same areas twice.
  • Park facing east at night. The rising sun will help melt the ice.
  • Never use hot water to clean ice. The sudden temperature change could cause your windows to crack.