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This winter, beware of ice missiles

Rhode Island doesn't get as much snow as other New England states, but we do see our fair show of snowfall and ice in the winter. 

While many people recognize that winter driving requires more care and patience on the road, other drivers fail to adjust their behaviors accordingly. This negligence can lead to hazardous conditions, including accidents caused by so-called ice missiles.

What are ice missiles?

The term "ice missile" is used to describe the chunks of ice and snow that fly off vehicles on the road. These missiles can be deadly because they can:

  • Hit and shatter windshields of other drivers
  • Cause motorists to swerve in an effort to dodge flying snow or ice
  • Create distractions 
  • Obscure a driver's visibility

In some states outside of Rhode Island, such as Connecticut, motorists can face steep fines for failing to clear excessive snow and ice from their vehicles before driving. However, even in areas that have such consequences, people still drive without removing built-up snow or ice first.

Protecting yourself from ice missiles

To avoid an accident caused by loose ice or snow, make sure you clear your car off before you go anywhere. Taking these few minutes could save your life and the lives of other motorists.

If you are sharing the road with someone who failed to clear their own vehicle, do not follow that person too closely. This is especially important on highways and interstates. You might also consider getting around commercial vehicles. These trucks can be very difficult to clear on top, and their ice missiles can travel quite a ways. If possible, avoid riding directly behind them.

Winter driving comes with numerous driving hazards. However, taking the necessary precautions can reduce the risk of a severe car accident. In addition to driving safely, such precautions also include ensuring your vehicle is safe for you and others.

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