Can You Drive with snow and ice on Your Roof in Washington?


It happens. You’re running late. You take the time to brush snow off of the front windshield, the side windows, and the rear window. 

But snow on your roof? That can slide, for now, right? I gotta get to work!

Washington State law requires you to clear the snow from your vehicle before driving. 

What Exactly Do I Need to Clear off?

You need to clear snow off:

  • All windows (Not just your front windshield)
  • Exterior Mirrors
  • All Headlights and Taillights
  • Side marker lamps
  • Front and rear license plates.
  • Or any part of your vehicle "It's the law not to let any debris escape your vehicle." -Washington State Patrol

Not convinced that you need to take extra steps to clear all the snow off your car or truck?

Fox 13 News in Seattle reported that Washington State Troopers fined a driver in Kitsap County $553 and cited them for negligent driving for failing to clear the snow from their windshield.

A Washington State Trooper shared an image - of a teeny-tiny part of the windshield cleared of snow. How could this person see? (Warning: They're out there!)

The rest was covered in several inches of snow and ice. The traffic stop happened on State Route 16 (between Bremerton and Tacoma.)

The driver was ticketed for negligent driving in the 2nd degree.

The Washington State Patrol added the car in question was driving erratic and unsafe before being pulled over. 

The driver claimed that the windshield wipers weren't working.

Remember to take the time to remove all snow from your vehicle before driving this winter. This includes your roof. 

INFO: FOX 13 Seattle, Washington State Legislature

OR and WA Drivers Love These Products to Keep Snow and Ice-free Windshields

Gallery Credit: Reesha Cosby