WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Even though there was less than a foot of snow in western Massachusetts, making sure you brush your car off can be essential to keeping you and others safe.

Elizabeth from Chicopee kids woke up at 5:00 a.m. Monday just to play in the snow, but snow for her means it’s time to brush off the car.

“I have a minivan so it takes a bit of effort,” she told 22News. “You open the door and then you stand on the side of the door and you get on top.”

Sergeant Joseph LaFrance from the West Springfield Police Department said the right tools make all the difference. In just 18 seconds he was able to brush off a cruiser with a snow pusher. However, those 18 seconds can be what saves a person’s life.

“That snow will turn to ice and that sheet of ice is going to fly off the roof of your car and strike another vehicle or pedestrian,” LaFrance said.

Snow blowing from your car can also lead to fines in Massachusetts. An unsecured load citation could cost you $200. You could also be held responsible for reckless driving if the snow on your car causes a crash. Ultimately, the advice for staying safe is simple.

“Clear your snow before you go,” said Sergeant Joseph LaFrance.

This first significant snow fall is a good reminder to keep your car stocked for winter, including the ice scraper, a blanket jumper cables, and a snow shovel.