How to drive in snow without breaking the law – from taking snow off your car roof to de-icing the windscreen

THE snow may look magical, but trying to get anywhere in the white stuff can prove a nightmare for motorists.

If you have to drive at all, check out this list to avoid violating your insurance – or getting slapped with a fine.

We explain four things to avoid if you're a driver and it's been snowing so you can keep safe on the road – and avoid a penalty.

1) Defrosting your car – the lazy way

Nipping out to switch your engine on early may seem like a clever way to make your car comfy and defrost the windscreen.

But you can invalidate your insurance if you leave the motor running unattended.

That is because most brokers will refuse to pay out if drivers fail to live up to their "duty of care" — a common clause in contracts.

Michael Lloyd, the AA’s insurance director, said: "Every winter we get reports of members’ cars that have disappeared off drives.

"The fact is that the keys are the weakest link in the car security chain and leaving your car unattended, unlocked and with the keys in in it is simply inviting it to be stolen.

"If it is ticking over, warming up, it makes the thief’s job very easy.

“Every insurance policy carries with it a ‘duty of care’ which means that you should take reasonable steps to protect your property and not do anything that could avoidably lead to loss or damage.

"And leaving your car with the engine running falls squarely into that category.

"No insurance company will meet a claim where you have left your car open to be stolen."

2) Driving with snow still on the roof

While having snow on your roof is not prohibited it could land you in deep drift with the law.

Should clumps fall onto your windscreen or onto another car you could be penalised for driving without "due consideration".

More seriously, you could be considered to be using a motor vehicle "in a dangerous condition".

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