The dangers of driving frosted over

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) — Accidents happen every day on icy roadways and side streets because people don't take the time to clear frost and snow from their car windows before driving. 

But just how dangerous and deadly can driving with a frosty windshield be?
Scraping off your car windows is one chore that many people just ignore.
“Unfortunately, a lot of people think it is ok because they are just going a few blocks to the store, or a mile,” said Gail Weinholzer of AAA of Minnesota/Iowa. 

“People want to get in their car as soon as they can and skip the most important part as far as visibility is concerned,” said Weinholzer, “I think they know its unsafe and many of them do it anyway.” 
Frosted over driving is not only dangerous, but illegal.
A Minnesota Statute requires that the front windshield must be defrosted completely before driving, in addition to the driver and passenger side window. 
The fine for driving with frost or snow blocking your windshield is around $118 in Minnesota. 
“Driving without having your windshield scraped is a lot like driving with a blindfold on,” said Weinholzer.
It can also be deadly. 
In the early morning hours of February 19, 2012, 19-year -old Robert Tofstad didn't see Ruth Brendel crossing the street on her way to church in Winona.
Tofstad hit and killed the 85-year-old woman. He said he didn't see Brendel because his windshield was frosted over.
Minnesota State Trooper Thomas Wright was one of the first responders to the scene of that accident and now makes it his mission now to stress the importance of safe driving.
“We need to see all of the obstructions that are around us, not just some of them,” said Trooper Wright. 
According to Trooper Wright, the only way to get the frost completely off of the outside of your car windows is to scrape it off or to allow the defrost to melt it away. 
Stay safe and make sure to keep your windows are clear before hitting the road this winter. 
“We know its cold out there, but safety really should be the number one concern, not only for your own personal safety, but for the safety of others as well,” said Weinholzer. 
Spending an extra five minutes in the morning could end up saving a life. 




Top Stories

Mason City
Albert Lea
A bright and pleasant start to the week

A bright and pleasant start to the week

We have some bright, pleasant weather in our area to kick off the work week today with the prospect of

Connect with My FOX 47
Top Stories

Winona community works to prevent domestic abuse

It's more common than you think.

Rochester leaders debate regulations for online rentals

Online rentals, like Airbnb, are currently unregulated in the city of Rochester, something the city leaders hope to solve soon.

Grim milestone: 300 traffic deaths on Minnesota roads in 2018

Almost a third were alcohol related while one in five involved someone who wasn't wearing a seat belt.

DFL Congressional Nominee Dan Feehan hosts round table event

DFL Congressional Nominee Dan Feehan and Washington State Congressman Denny Heck hosted a small business round table in Rochester Monday.

Update on corn, soybean harvest

Farmers across the Midwest have been putting in long hours the last few days, trying to get their harvests in

Scroll to top
Skip to content