Save a life: Clean your car after snowfall

It could take as long as 26 minutes, but it could save a life.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - More than two days after a mid-Atlantic snowstorm, police said motorists’ lives are still being threatened and cars are being seriously damaged by heavy slabs of ice flying off the tops of uncleaned vehicles.

WUSA9’s Scott Broom demonstrated in vivid detail how challenging it can be to do the job right. It took him 26 minutes to make the vehicle safe to drive.

The job required a step ladder, a broom and a long-handled scraper. He was assisted by heating the vehicle to melt the slabs from the bottom up.

“It’s a significant challenge to get this done without damaging the paint on the car,” Broom said.  “I used the smooth but end of the broom to pry up slabs without damaging the finish.  Sometimes I had to do it by hand.”

RELATED: Flying sheets of ice prompt warning from police

Some of the solid slabs on Broom’s pick-up truck were estimated to weigh more than 60 pounds.

Maryland State Police said motorists can be fined up to $90 for creating a hazard by driving without clearing slabs of snow. Authorities said citations are frequently written after accidents happen.

The nor’easter that slammed the region left a coating of very wet snow that was unusually heavy. Frigid temperatures turned layers of uncleaned snow into solid slabs of ice that are particularly dangerous.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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