Why Building a Snowman on Your Car Might Be Illegal


Some people enjoy the scorching summer because they get to hit the beach. And some want the winter wonderland because they get to ski and make snow angels.

If your family is the latter, then your kids must love playing with snow and building snowmen. There isn’t anything better than family bonding while putting the last decoration on your snowman; a carrot nose.

Many times, you decide to have a road trip with the family and head to the mountain. After spending a couple of hours there, you choose to leave for home. But just before you get in your car, your youngest tells you to build a snowman on the hood of your vehicle to take it home with you.

Are you allowed to say no when they look at you with those puppy eyes?

While it’s hard to say no, having any snow on your car might be illegal in some states.

Which States Penalize You for Having Snow on Your Car?

Though having snow on your car is a risky move, it’s not illegal in all states. Currently, ten states penalize driving with snow on your vehicle:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin

Even between these states that have strict laws against putting snow on your car, the fines can be different. For example, in Pennsylvania, driving with snow on any part of your car can result in a hefty fine. If the snow hits another vehicle or a pedestrian, you can be fined between $200 and $1,000.

The Pennsylvania Senate even passed a bill titled Senate Bill 114 to mandate snow removal from vehicles.

In Connecticut, there are also harsh laws regarding driving with snow. Commercial and non-commercial cars shouldn’t have snow on their hoods, trunks, or roofs. If the police catch a driver, the fine would be around $75.

However, suppose said snow would dislodge and cause damage to another vehicle or injure a person. In that case, the fine will rise to $1,000 for non-commercial drivers and $1,250 for commercial drivers.

Why You Should Not Drive with Snow on Your Car

Fallen Snow on Car Windshields Blocks Visibility

Driving too far through highways with snow on your vehicle’s roof can pose a high risk not only to yourself but also to others. Fender benders in city streets and other severe highway accidents can result from ice or snow falling from your roof onto your windshield.

Even if you remove the snow before driving, snow can still fall on your car when you’re on the road. And you have no control over that.

The best thing you can do is follow your local weather forecast to plan your outings carefully and avoid being caught in a snow storm.

Melted Snow on Your Car Is Also Dangerous

If you’re cruising and see the road in front of you is mostly empty, you choose to accelerate a little. However, you seemed to have forgotten about the small collection of snow on your roof.

The sun is beaming, and the snow is melting faster. When you reach a roundabout, you suddenly encounter a car and pull on the breaks, that whole heap of melted snow can hit the vehicle in front of you. Remember to drive carefully during rainy and snowy seasons to prevent potential accidents.

Also, when you stop by a place and park your car, for instance, make sure you check your roof for any snow before continuing your journey.

For added protection during parking, you can use a car cover to remove any melted snow from your vehicle quickly.

Beware of Icicles on Your Car

While icicles are fine as a frozen snack, especially in strawberry flavor, icicles on cars are another story.

Suppose the weather gets to freezing temperatures, the possibility of icicles forming on your car increases. So beware of driving long distances with snow on your roof.

It’s best to remove the chunk of snow on your roof before it can turn into a huge icicle that can fall and cause an accident.