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‘Ice Missiles’ Fly Off Vehicles, Failure to Clear Snow Causing Accidents

Ice Missiles can shatter glass and even cause the driver to panic and lose control of their car. Ice Missiles could result in serious injury or even the death of one or more motorists

Winter Storm Jonas released its fury on the East Coast and in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. With that major snowstorm well over, many people are digging out and trying to get their cars back on the road. For some, they remove the snow and ice from the windshield, but they forget to get the roof of the car. People rationalize that it is too cold to stand out there for long periods of time. Nonetheless, it is something that must be done. While this may not seem like a big deal, it’s causing huge problems and numerous car and trucking accidents.

Ice missiles from semi trucks and 18 wheelers can cause car wrecks

States like Connecticut have issued laws with regard to “ice missiles.” Truck drivers cannot clean their vehicles as easily as a regular auto or car. However, ice missiles from semi trucks, big rigs, tractor trailers and 18-Wheelers are known to cause many accidents. A truck will form an icicle just like any other structure. Going down the freeway at 55 mph plus will turn those icicles into missiles as they glide through the air. The problem is that they are hitting other vehicles and causing accidents. They can shatter glass and even cause the driver to panic and lose control of their car. This could result in serious injury or even the death of one or more motorists

CT Law:

“Section 1. (NEW) (Effective December 31, 2013) (a) The operator of any motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1 of the general statutes, shall remove any accumulated ice or snow from such motor vehicle, including the hood, trunk and roof of such motor vehicle, so that any ice or snow accumulated on such vehicle does not pose a threat to persons or property while the vehicle is being operated on any street or highway of this state. Any operator who fails to remove accumulated ice or snow that poses such a threat shall be fined seventy-five dollars.” CGA

On the other side of the equation, the big blankets of snow that won’t seem to budge when cleaning off a car, seem to find a way to move when speed is put behind them. They are causing accidents and people can get hurt. Some states, including New Jersey, will ticket up to $75 for each occurrence. So what do you do if someone else’s negligence and carelessness causes you to get into a car wreck with injuries?


First, in states where the laws are clear about cleaning off your car, the other party is liable if it can be proven that their negligence caused you to to be injured in a motor vehicle wreck. The burden of proof is on the victim and their RI personal injury attorneys. It is best to have a RI car accident attorney in a situation like this. There could be other vehicles involved because many automobile accidents usually involve more than one car. Don’t take fault for an accident that you didn’t have anything to do with, get pictures and get legal help.

Because snow and ice are fleeting evidence, it is important to get pictures and statements from any witnesses who may have seen the motor vehicle wreck. You can’t depend on the evidence still being there when the cops arrive, it can melt and disburse from the roadway traffic. Get pictures, get to safety, and hire a Rhode Island personal injury attorney  or RI truck accident attorney to handle this claim for you.

If a car accident is caused by what is commonly referred to as an “ice missile,” it typically involves a piece of ice or snow dislodging from a vehicle and striking another vehicle or pedestrian. Such incidents can result in damage to vehicles or, in more severe cases, injuries.

Many jurisdictions have laws and regulations in place requiring drivers to clear their vehicles of accumulated snow and ice before driving. These regulations are intended to prevent hazards caused by ice missiles, which can obstruct visibility, fall onto the road, or strike other vehicles.

If an accident occurs due to an ice missile, it may be treated like any other car accident, and liability would be determined based on the specific circumstances of the incident. The driver of the vehicle from which the ice missile originated might be held responsible for negligence if they failed to properly clear their vehicle.

If you have specific information about a recent incident or are seeking details on a particular case, I recommend checking local news sources or official law enforcement reports for the latest and most accurate information on any ice missile-related accidents.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.