The dangers of driving frosted over - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

The dangers of driving frosted over

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Accidents happen every day on icy roadways and side streets because people don't take the time to clear frost and snow from their car windows before driving. 

But just how dangerous and deadly can driving with a frosty windshield be?

Scraping off your car windows is one chore that many people just ignore.

"Unfortunately, a lot of people think it is ok because they are just going a few blocks to the store, or a mile," said Gail Weinholzer of AAA of Minnesota/Iowa. 

"People want to get in their car as soon as they can and skip the most important part as far as visibility is concerned," said Weinholzer, "I think they know its unsafe and many of them do it anyway." 

Frosted over driving is not only dangerous, but illegal.

A Minnesota Statute requires that the front windshield must be defrosted completely before driving, in addition to the driver and passenger side window. 

The fine for driving with frost or snow blocking your windshield is around $118 in Minnesota. 

"Driving without having your windshield scraped is a lot like driving with a blindfold on," said Weinholzer.

It can also be deadly. 

In the early morning hours of February 19, 2012, 19-year -old Robert Tofstad didn't see Ruth Brendel crossing the street on her way to church in Winona.

Tofstad hit and killed the 85-year-old woman. He said he didn't see Brendel because his windshield was frosted over.

Minnesota State Trooper Thomas Wright was one of the first responders to the scene of that accident and now makes it his mission now to stress the importance of safe driving.

"We need to see all of the obstructions that are around us, not just some of them," said Trooper Wright. 

According to Trooper Wright, the only way to get the frost completely off of the outside of your car windows is to scrape it off or to allow the defrost to melt it away. 

Stay safe and make sure to keep your windows are clear before hitting the road this winter. 

"We know its cold out there, but safety really should be the number one concern, not only for your own personal safety, but for the safety of others as well," said Weinholzer. 

Spending an extra five minutes in the morning could end up saving a life. 

 

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