Since they are calling for winter precipitation of a sort, I thought it might be timely to share how to properly clear your car. If pictures like these are any indication (and my own experience says that they are), there are quite a few drivers in these parts that don't quite understand.
There are three reasons for properly clearing your car when planning to then drive it (if you don't plan to drive, feel free to let it melt off at its own pace). First, it is so you can see out of your car, in all directions, thereby enabling you to travel safely on a day when the roads are more treacherous. Second it is so that the snow on your car does not blind other drivers, who may then crash into you. And third, it prevents a friendly policeman from having to pull you over in the cold to inform you that you have not properly cleared your car. So really, it is all about helping you.
Front Windshield - This area needs to be completely clear. If a little ice or whatever is clinging to the area outside the range of your windshield wipers or over your inspection sticker, fine, but a little circle for your head is not enough.
Driver and Passenger Windows - Also clear. If the back two aren't clear, that's fine. But if you don't clear these you can't see well enough to turn or the check your mirrors.
Driver and Passenger Mirrors - anything covering the actual mirror needs to be cleared. Most mirrors don't have defrosting strips, so if you want to drive, you need to take care of this.
Back Windshield - This area need to be clear. If you want to let the defroster do the work, that's fine but don't start driving until it is done. If you are in a hurry, do it yourself.
Roof - This needs to be as clear as possible. If the stuff is really sticking, that's fine but any loose snow needs to be brushed off. If you don't, the first time you stop it's going to end up sliding forward onto your windshield and you will wish you took the time.
Hood - Clear this also. Again, if it's really stuck, that's fine, but anything loose will blow up into your windshield as you drive, lowering your visibility. Also, it's a good idea to make sure your lights are clear - for you and your fellow drivers.
Back - Please clear the loose stuff here to. Otherwise it peels off infuriating and impeding your fellow drivers. And if they skid because they can't see, guess who they are going to skid into.
It takes time, but in the end, you and your fellow drivers are all better off. Thanks and stay warm!