What Michigan Law Says About Shoveling the Snow

What Michigan Law Says About Shoveling the Snow

by / Wednesday, 12 January 2022 / Published in Michigan Law
A person shoveling snow.

Snow. It’s an inevitable part of Michigan winters. Some years, we might get more snow than others. But even during milder winters, we still get some snow. And when And along with snow comes another chore: clearing it from your driveway and sidewalks.

Clearing the snow from your sidewalks and driveway not only helps make it easier for yourself and others to get around, it helps prevent people from slipping and falling. While there isn’t a statewide law mandating that everyone in the state of Michigan shovel their sidewalks, there may be local ordinances requiring people to clear sidewalks within a certain amount of time. However, the state of Michigan does have laws about what you can do with the snow you shovel.

Michigan Law and Snow Removal

According to Section 257.677(a) of the Michigan Vehicle Code, it is prohibited to “obstruct safety vision by removal or deposit of snow, ice, or slush.” Very often, this section is used to refer to clearing snow off of cars so that it doesn’t blow into the vision of other drivers or send that snow flying onto roadways and cause other cars to lose traction. But it also applies to piles of snow that may obstruct the view of a driver trying to enter a roadway.

When people shovel their driveways, the area immediately next to the end of the driveway is a popular place to toss the snow they’ve removed from the driveway itself. And it’s not necessarily illegal to do that. However, just be careful that those piles of snow don’t get so big that it’s difficult to see around them. If you or someone else is trying to back out of your driveway, it’s very easy to back right into another car if a big pile of snow blocks the driver’s vision. If you are found to be in violation of this law, you could be fined up to $100.

This section of the Michigan Vehicle Code also prohibits throwing the snow you shovel into the road or the shoulder of a road. If it feels like you’re stuck shoveling snow that’s been pushed into your driveway by a snow plow, it might be tempting to toss that snow right back into the road. However, this can pose a hazard for drivers by causing slippery spots on the road. Not only could drivers slip on the snow or slush, it could become compacted or refreeze in a way that catches drivers off guard and lead to them losing control of their vehicle.

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

Car accidents can easily happen at any time of year, regardless of the weather conditions. If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer for help. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to a lawyer who is highly experienced in helping the victims of all kinds of motor vehicle crashes in the state of Michigan and you’ll be able to get answers to any questions you have about your case. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.