If you think it isn’t a big deal to hit the road in a car covered in snow or ice, you better think again, Pennsylvania state troopers are warning after a storm-related accident left three people injured this week.
A Porche on Interstate 83 in York, Pennsylvania, was damaged after a thick chunk of ice came flying off of a tractor trailer as it passed the car Thursday morning. The windshield was smashed and torn off on impact, sending shards of glass flying into the vehicle and injuring the driver and two passengers inside, reports CBS affiliate WHP in Harrisburg. Fortunately, the injuries were described as minor.
Driver Alissa Wertz said she witnessed the incident and narrowly escaped a serious crash herself.
“Chunk of ice fell right on the side of my car,” Wertz told WHP. “I slammed on my brakes. There wasn’t much I could do.”
Ryan Tarkowski, communications director for the Pennsylvania State Police, said this accident should serve as a reminder for drivers to remove snow and ice from their vehicles.
“Accidents with ice can happen anywhere, especially with winter driving conditions, slick roads,” Tarkowski told CBS News. “It’s just not worth the risk. Don’t take the risk. Always make sure to clear off that snow or ice.”
In fact, it’s the law.
In Pennsylvania, drivers can be fined $25 if they don’t have a clear, unobstructed view of the road at all times. That means debris must be removed from every window — front, back and sides. Though there isn’t a statute on having snow on top of cars, Tarkowski said drivers can face fines up to $1,000 if snow or ice from their vehicles causes serious injuries or kills another party.
“Accidents happen, and you don’t want to be the person who causes that accident,” Tarkowski said.
Even if your car is clean, make sure to stay alert to the vehicles surrounding you.
“It’s always a good idea in winter driving conditions to slow down and give plenty of space between you and the car in front of you,” Tarkowski said.
The three people in the Porsche are being treated for cuts to their face, arms and hands, the York Township Fire Department said in a Facebook post late Thursday. State police say the case is still under investigation.
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