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Posted on 03-20-2017

Ice Missiles Causing Baltimore Auto Accidents

As my avid blog followers are already aware I am a Baltimore chiropractor with two clinics in Baltimore City that spends the majority of my time treating Baltimore auto accident injury patients. Typically the injuries we see present as headaches, neck pain, and back pain. In some instances we see upper and lower extremity pain as well as vehicle occupants suffer contusions and extremity sprains and strains due to striking their body within the vehicle during the impact.

Just today we had several new auto accident patients who all had one thing in common - their injuries were due to ice missiles! Prior to today I had never heard of the term ice missile so I wanted to learn a bit more about it and share it on my blog.

I have been a chiropractor for almost nine years and I had not heard of ice missiles until today. An ice missile is when a sheet of ice or snow flies off another vehicle or truck and then causes either bodily injury and/or property damage to another car. Although we had a relatively mild winter with only one really substantial snow storm, there are still many people driving around on the roads who have not taken the time to brush their vehicle's roof of from snow and ice. So what happens when they drive is that sheet of snow or ice takes off and becomes an "ice missile" that can go anywhere and cause havoc on the roads to other motorists.

Interestingly, Maryland does not have any laws on the books that require the removal of snow and ice from a vehicle before operating it. According to AAA, Maryland State Troopers are legally allowed to give tickets to motorists for driving with accumulated snow and ice on the surface of their vehicles, but the state of Maryland does not have law that specifically require that motorists do so before driving their vehicles. The same holds true for Washington D.C. and Virginia. Commercial trucks and vehicles are required to remove snow and ice debris, but sedans and SUVs do not have the same law on the books. That sounds a little confusing to me. Surrounding states such as Pennsylvania do require motor vehicles to remove their snow and ice, however. So even though the law does not require it, it is considered a common courtesy and good general practice to clear the debris from your car prior to operating it.

Here are some tips to help you clear the snow and ice off of your vehicle. And yes, you guessed it, they are pretty common sense.

1. Use de-icer spray on the windshield of your vehicle prior to a substantial snow fall if you can.
2. Pull your windshield wiper blades off of the your windshield prior to the snow storm. It will make your windshield easier to clean and will prevent your blades from sticking.
3. Use a telescoping snow brush to reach the hard to reach areas such as the roof of your car to knock snow or ice off.
4. Work from the top down - Always start with the top of your vehicle and pull the snow towards you. That will prevent you from having to do double duty and re-clearing the hood of your car a second time.
5. For tall vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, get a step stool or step ladder to reach the top
6. Park your car facing the morning sun (east) - Even a few degrees of warmth may be enough to help loosen the snow and ice from your vehicle. You can aid in the melting of the ice and snow by turning on your vehicles front and rear defrosters by taking advantage of morning sunlight.
7. Always make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow to avoid the accumulation of toxic carbon monoxide

Even though we all want to stay in bed as long as possible and avoid having to go to work the morning following a snow storm, its important to spend the extra time to carefully remove snow and ice from your vehicle. Although it technically is not a law in Maryland, it is common courtesy. We all share the roads and we owe it to each other to make the commute as safe as possible.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured as a result of an ice missile, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic. We now have two locations in Baltimore (Southeast- Fells Point, and Northwest, Upper Park Heights) to better serve your injury treatment needs.

Dr. Gulitz

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