On Friday, Feb. 7 there was a major snowstorm in much of upstate New York, with Franklin County getting around 15 to 20 inches. Most of that Friday saw intense snowfall, with accumulating snow on our roads despite constant plowing by the various highway departments.

Although with all county schools closed because of the weather and thus not very heavy traffic, what is unacceptable is the number of drivers who didn’t have their headlights on, or did not clear off their headlights and taillights. This lack of attention to what should be common sense is not just in large snowstorms but is too much the norm all winter — drivers not realizing that not clearing off the snow from headlights, taillights and turn signals poses a danger not only to themselves but to other drivers as well.

Is this the result of laziness, or is it that drivers don’t realize the dangers associated with this lack of attention? Or are drivers just in too much of a hurry to bother?

I recently received a letter from a reader of these articles that said, “People do not take care or time to clean off the back lights — you do not know if they are braking or turning. It is scary.”

The letter writer is right — it is scary and dangerous. It is also disrespectful of other road users. Letting other drivers know your intentions is crucial to good driving. That is why using turn signals is so important, as is clearing off all lights so that other drivers can see your turn signals and brake lights.

Can we agree that this is important? If yes, then can we all do better each and every day? Yes. It means taking a bit more time to clean off your vehicle and a bit more work in the cold, but it is so important to do so. And while I’m at it, please clean off the snow from your car’s roof as well. If you don’t, that snow on the roof can blow off as you drive and be a hazard to the driver behind you. It can also end up on your rear window.

There’s still a lot of winter left. It’s time for all drivers to take the extra time and energy to keep your vehicle clear from obstructing snow in the interest of safety. Will you do this?


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