ice windshield

Ontario driver lucky to be alive after sheet of ice smashes through windshield

First responders in Ontario are once again asking motorists to please, please, for the love of all that is good PLEASE clear all the ice and snow from their vehicles before driving.

Failure to do could result not only in a $110 fine or a strict talkin'-to from the cops, but death or serious injury — like those sustained by an Ottawa woman on Thursday while driving down Highway 417.

Ottawa's Paramedic Service issued what they called an "important safety reminder" yesterday after "a female in her 40s sustained serious head injuries when a sheet of ice flew off from another vehicle."

Ontario Provincial Police similarly highlighted the situation on Twitter, writing that ice had flown from one vehicle and struck another around 1:40 p.m. on Thursday in the eastbound lanes of Highway 417 near Kent Street.

The resulting collision shut down the left two eastbound lanes and left shoulder of the highway for at least four hours.

It is not yet clear what happened to the vehicle from which the ice sheet fell, but police say the woman in the car that got hit was taken to hospital with "serious non-life threatening injuries."

"Please make sure you clear off all snow / ice from your vehicle!" wrote Ottawa paramedics when sharing a photo of the aftermath, reiterating the sentiments of an Ottawa Police Service tweet issued just a few days earlier.

"This driver had to be reminded to clear the snow from their vehicle this morning!" wrote police on Monday when sharing an image of a car with snow covering its roof.

"Make it a habit to completely clear all snow and ice from you vehicle before you go anywhere, for everyone's safety."

The driver of the car hit on Highway 417 yesterday is far from the first of her kind: Motorists continue to ignore the pleas of emergency officials every year, whether out of stupidity, selfishness or sheer laziness.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act states that no car should be taken out onto a public street "unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle."

The rear windshield much also be "in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the rear of the motor vehicle."

Those who are caught breaking this law (and thus endangering lives, including their own) can be fined $110 and may very well end up fodder for a snarky cop tweet that inspires thousands of angry comments.

"Isn't about time that the OPP started to get serious about cracking down on self centred car drivers who obviously don't give a flying fig* about other road users?" replied one Twitter user to an image of the red car hit yesterday.

"If I threw ice off an overpass, I'd be going to prison. Car driver drives without clearing their car of ice? oopsie."

Lead photo by

Ottawa Paramedic Service

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