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It is worth noting that vehicle manufacturing techniques have evolved in recent years. Many of the newer vehicles have components made of plastic, fiberglass, stainless steel and other materials that are less prone to corrosion than steel. In any case, it is advisable to wash your car periodically throughout the winter months to remove any chemical residue.
The Washington State Transportation Center and Washington State University conducted a thorough scientific study of the effects of chloride anti-icing products on the environment. This study was conducted on a stretch of SR 97 near Leavenworth where high volumes of chloride products were used near a fish bearing stream. The results indicated that deicing activities along SR 97 had no measurable negative impact on Peshastin Creek. The full report can be viewed at: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/research/reports/fullreports/500.1.pdf
Sand gets picked up by tires and blown to the side of the road, instead of staying on the driving area of the roadway. In heavy traffic conditions, it is only effective for the first few vehicles.
Sand can clog roadway drains and ditches. Sand in streams may have an adverse impact on aquatic life.
Maintenance costs for sand are higher at the end of the season than salt or anti-icer chemicals due to the cleanup required.