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'This all happens in the blink of an eye': Flying ice smashes windshields of local drivers

Posted: 4:36 PM, Feb 18, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-18 18:55:30-05

MILWAUKEE — The winter storm is over but snow and ice continued to cause issues Tuesday as drivers were hit by ice flying off of moving vehicles.

"This all happens in the blink of an eye," said Matt Nazari, owner of Lake Auto Glass.

Nazari had one customer come in with a shattered windshield after ice flew off of a truck.

"She was extremely upset," said Nazari.

Nazari explained the impact was so strong it dislodged the rearview mirror. He says this was just one case of ice damage this season.

They got at least five calls by noon on Tuesday alone.

"People do not clean their car. They just get in the car and drive and the heat from the car loosens up the ice and the snow and dislodged it," said Nazari.

"Usually every snow storm we have a few," said Sergeant Gregory Jenswold with the Wisconsin State Patrol.

The sergeant says this is especially an issue with larger vehicles, like semis and pick up trucks, that can accumulate a lot of snow.

Flying ice can cause a dangerous chain reaction.

"When the snow comes off it basically becomes airborne and lands and other people's windshields causing not only visibility problems at the time but they may try to evade that and crash into other cars. Evading snow flying off of cars in slippery road conditions can be hazardous on its own and cause a crash," explained Sgt. Jenswold.

In Wisconsin, the law states that if your windows are not clear you could face a hefty fine of close to $200.

"The statute doesn't cover the snow and ice that's coming off the vehicles. It's more of an insurance type of situation," said Sgt. Jenswold.

There is a separate proposal that would fine drivers who do not remove snow and ice from their overall vehicles, which then damages another property.

Since that bill was introduced last fall there has been no action on it.

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