It's a blistering -15 degrees out as I write this. I can hear my husband shoveling snow on the porch. Already, I'm dreading the rush to scrape off the ice and snow from my car fast enough to avoid turning into a popsicle. We all love to hate these kinds of mornings, am I right?

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On days like these, it's hard not to cut corners when we can by clearing only some of the ice and snow from our vehicle. Who hasn't left some ice and snow on the windshield or roof of their vehicle on a frigid morning?

But, apparently, leaving your windshield obscured is illegal in Wyoming.

Why Is It Illegal to Leave Snow Covering Your Vehicle in Wyoming?

It makes sense, of course. Leaving snow on your windshield creates safety hazards for you and fellow vehicles on the road. Snow and ice left on your windshield create additional blind spots on your car - and snow left on the roof of your vehicle can slide down to cover your front or rear windshield when you drive or blow into another vehicle causing that driver to face momentarily reduced visibility.


Wyoming State Statute 31-5-955 breaks down the legal requirements for clearing obstructions from a vehicle in subsection (a):

Article 9 - Equipment

31-5-955. Windshields and wipers.

(a) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other material or substance upon or crack within the front windshield, side or rear windows of the vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.

In this case, snow and ice count as "other material[s]" that obscures a driver's view of the highway.

The statute also requires that a vehicle "be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield," (b) and have a "windshield and a windshield good working order." (c)

Can You Get a Traffic Ticket for Leaving Snow or Ice on Your Windshield?

You can get ticketed for leaving snow or ice covering your windshield. Under Article 9, 31-5-901, doing so can land you a misdemeanor. Find the complete requirements and provisions of Article 9 by clicking here.

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