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Flying snow a road hazard

A new highway hazard became common Monday morning as more cars took to roads now clear enough for higher speeds: crusty chunks of flying snow.

The dangerous projectiles were breaking loose as vehicles that had not been properly
cleared of snow gained speed and warmed up. The piles fly into the path of other cars with sufficient force to break windshields.

"That snow is hard and crusted after piling up on top of a vehicle," said John B. Townsend II, spokesman for the American Automobile Association. "Other drivers swerve to avoid it, and that can lead to accidents."

Townsend said drivers in the District can face fines unless they "remove every inch of snow from their car." He said it took half an hour to remove the historic weekend snowfall from his own car.

"People who don't allow time to do that are going to rush off with 30 inches of snow on their roofs," Townsend said. "That's just dangerous. If you have to drive, please remove the snow. It's a common courtesy."

-- Ashley Halsey III

By Michael Bolden  |  February 8, 2010; 9:45 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , highways  | Tags: DC traffic, weather  
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I drove into DC yesterday for the Caps game and the big hazard I noted were the people who were still driving with one hand using hand-held cell phones. This was especially bad on the way home, as I-395 was a bumpy, rutted mess of brown sloppy stuff. I needed two hands (except when shifting) just to keep the car tracking in a straight line.

Heard Lisa Baden on the radio this morning saying that at least one of the crashes out there today was caused by a driver sending text messages whilst driving. Idiot. If I were the cop, I'd ticket that guy for reckless driving (driving with willful disregard for the safety of other motorists and of himself).

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 8, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Ditto. Most get off with "Failure to pay full attention" to driving, which is a mere slap on the wrist.

Thank you Lisa for calling out the bad guy for all of DC to hear!

Posted by: thetan | February 8, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Ticket these idiots. After the first big snowstorm in December, I saw a moron driving around with at least a foot of snow on top of his bright yellow Beetle in the South Stafford area.

Posted by: annoyedVAdriver | February 8, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

If you see it, just slash their tires and key a little arrow pointing at the roof.

Posted by: member8 | February 8, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"If you see it, just slash their tires and key a little arrow pointing at the roof."

Kind of hard to do that when I was going 30 mph on I-395 yesterday and a guy in a Lincoln Navigator goes by at 50 mph with a full load of snow on his roof :-)

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

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