The next time you think about jumping into your car on a winter morning with only a small viewing space cleared from your windshield, you should think again. The time you think you are saving by letting your defroster clear it for you could lead to a severe accident. Essentially, you may be limiting the things you see, which will prevent you from avoiding them.
This practice, often called "peephole driving," not only annoys Colorado drivers who get cut off in traffic, it is a genuine safety hazard that many drivers ignore during the winter. Perhaps they are transplants from other states or commuters with short journeys to work. Regardless, they could be running afoul of the law and endangering lives at the same time. Imagine not being able to see stoplights change, a person stepping into the street in front of you, or slick spots on the road.
The best way to avoid these hazards is to keep a windshield scraper handy. Indeed, you may have to take an extra few minutes to make sure that you can see out of all of your windows, but it is worth the extra time to ensure that you have a full view of the road. As an added plus, your car will be warmer once you get in.
Chances are that we will not see another "polar vortex" for the rest of the winter, but more snow and ice is a given. When this happens, just remember that peephole driving could not only lead to an accident, it could lead to civil liability as well.
Source: VNews.com, "'Peephole drivers' ignore safety and laws when they don't scrape their cars," Kim Ode, January 5, 2014