After seatbelts and airbags, windscreens are regarded by most vehicle safety experts as being the most important safety component of your car. When you consider the many roles a vehicle’s windscreen fulfils, most of which are related to safety, it’s not that surprising.
Safety Functions of Windscreens
- Maintains the structural integrity of your car, and keeps the roof from crushing into the cabin in the following situations:
- In a front end collision – up to 45%
- In a rollover – up to 60%
- Ensures the passenger-side airbag deploys properly.
- Allows the airbags to deploy in the correct position to cushion passengers.
- Prevents driver and passengers from being ejected in a serious collision.
In order for your windshield to perform its function properly, you need to ensure proper maintenance – most of which are fairly inexpensive and easy to do.
6 Rules for Windscreen Maintenance and Safety
Repair is cheaper than replacement, so as soon as you notice a problem with your windscreen, pay attention to it.
- Ensure clear vision at all times - Glare, reflection, and haziness is distracting and can occur when a windscreen is dusty or dirty. Dirt builds up on the inside of the windscreen slowly over time, so make sure that you clean both the inside and outside of your windscreen thoroughly, making sure it is smudge-free with some white vinegar and a clean cloth.
- Keep your windscreen and wipers clean - Apart from the visibility factor, a windscreen laden with dirt particles will cause wipers to scratch the glass and the damage will worsen over time.
- Do not leave a windscreen chip unchecked - A chip could spread into a crack at the most inopportune moment. These cracks happen when a sudden stress situation occurs, whether it’s sudden braking, driving over a pothole or speed bump, or being subjected to sudden extreme temperature change. However, even the daily stress of driving due to vibrations and movement of your car can cause a crack from a chip.
- Repair or replace a cracked windscreen as soon as possible - Not only will cracks impair vision but the weakened windscreen will lose the ability to protect the car’s cabin, particularly in the event of a rollover.
- Don’t hang on to worn out wiper blades - Since clear vision is paramount to safe driving, you should not skimp on wiper blades. They should provide proper and clear vision through the front as well as to the left and right sides of your line of sight ahead. If your old ones are not cleaning the windscreen effectively, it’s not worth the money saved by not replacing them.
- Fill your windscreen wiper fluid bottle with a quality anti-freeze screen wash - it does a better job than water to keep your windscreen clean for the clearest visibility possible.
Windscreen chips and cracks are quick to repair and you could even wait while a professional goes about the job. It will cost you substantially less and there’ll be less waste. Bear in mind, not all windscreens are repairable and there are risks involved, but overall, it is the better option. So don’t let that chip or crack get you down, book an appointment, you’ll save yourself some money and help the environment.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.