We've all seen this person. Heck, maybe you are this person (if you are, please do better). But every winter, without fail, there's some yahoo driving down the street in Michigan with a car roof full of snow.

Is it Illegal to Not Clean the Snow from Your Car in Michigan?

Maybe you were running late and didn't have time. Or maybe you couldn't find your scraper. And we all know that it's ungodly cold outside. But regardless, you should be cleaning the snow from the roof of your car!

Hand using brush sweeping snow on car windscreen
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cleaning all the snow from the roof of your car is a must. All it takes is one good breeze, or for you to accelerate above 20 miles per hour, and that snow is going come flying off the back of your car. That snow could easily impair the driving of the person behind you if it lands on their windshield.

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Not only is cleaning the snow from your car the polite and SAFE thing to do, but it's also the law.

Michigan Law Says You Have to Clean the Snow Off Your Car

That's right... Johnny law could be coming for you if you don't clean the snow off your car. You could even be ticketed, and not just for failing to clean the snow off your roof, the same goes for the rest of the car, and for things like slush and ice too.

Winter Storm Brings Snow And Ice Conditions To Northeast
Getty Images

When clearing the snow/ice/slush off your car, be sure to get all of it, not just a patch on the windshield that's juuuuuust big enough for you to see out of. Clean the snow off the roof, hood, lights, and even the sides of your car. Here are the Michigan laws that say so:

  • Law #MCL 257.709 - You can't operate a vehicle when your vision is impaired. This means you have to clean off the whole windshield and the other windows, too!
  • Law #MCL 257.699 - Head lights and tail lights have to emit a certain amount of light to be legal, so don't forget to clear off those lights.
  • Law #MCL 257.677a(2)-(4) - It's illegal for snow, ice, or slush to fly off your car and impair another driver's vision. This one's a biggie for the safety of others.

I know no one wants to spend more time in the cold than necessary. And Michigan winters can be particularly bitter. But when you know you're going to be dealing with snow, to avoid a potential ticket and to be safe on the road, you should always clear the snow off your car!

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Gallery Credit: Youtube, TSM Media Center

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