A Triad man shared his terrifying experience after packed snow flew off the top of a car and crashed into his windshield as he was driving 50 mph down a local highway.
“I just knew I was gonna die, or at the very least have a wreck of some kind. It was pretty scary," Thad Shermer said.
Friday morning started as a normal commute for Shermer.
“I was coming down U.S. 29 on my way to work," he said.
He kept his distance from the car in front of him. That's when a huge chunk of packed snow flew off that car and slammed into Shermer's windshield.
“For five or six seconds it was total whiteout," he said. "Could not see a thing. Took four or five swipes of my wipers to where I could see anything at all."
He managed to stay in control, but he's shaken from the experience.
“My heart didn’t stop beating fast for a long time," Shermer said.
North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers say this happens in the Triad every time it snows.
“That can be extremely dangerous for other drivers. You can obscure their view of travel and their view from their car," Trooper Robert Graves said.
Graves says packed snow and ice falling off cars hasn't caused any crashes in the Triad this week, but he's seen it happen before.
“I think a lot of people, you’re just not thinking about it," Graves said. "You’re clearing off the driver’s windshield, your rear windshield, and you’re not thinking about getting the rest of your vehicle done. It's definitely is careless.”
In some states, you can get fined for leaving ice on top of your car. That's not the case in North Carolina, but Shermer wants that to change.
“I think the state legislature should make it a law today, right now," Shermer said. "Something needs to be done, because it can happen to anybody at any time.”
Graves says you may not get pulled over for ice caked on your car, but if it causes a crash or hurts someone, you can be held responsible.
“Please, just clean your stuff off your vehicle because somebody’s going to get killed, and like I said, I thought it was going to be me this morning," Shermer said.
If you're not sure how to get packed ice and snow off your car, start by turning on your defrosters. Take an ice scraper to the car's sides and roof in addition to the windshields. You can also use lukewarm water to help speed up the process. If you can't reach your roof, try using a broom to wipe off what's left.