Cracks in a windscreen can be affected by all weather. But in winter or Harmattan season (in case of Nigeria), cold temperatures make the windscreen more concave and consequently place more pressure on the crack.
Motorists should never ignore the danger that a crack presents but this is even more so in cold season.
According to the managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, windscreen defect is not something a motorist should neglect as it contributes towards 30% of a vehicle’s structural support
“Many drivers may not realise just how important their windscreen is in protecting them. Of particular importance is the role of the windscreen in reducing the chance of the roof collapsing if a car rolls.
Other safety functions of a windscreen include:
- Airbags use the windscreen as a support structure that ensures passenger airbags are properly inflated. If the airbag pressure causes the windscreen to pop out, the airbag becomes useless.
- Its ability to withstand an impact from a larger piece of debris can be dangerously weakened
- Damaged windscreens can cause you to become fatigued much faster
- If the damage is on the driver’s side, in particular, this can have a major impact on visibility.
- At night, drivers can be dazzled even worse than normal by oncoming light.
- A chip can create a halo effect around a light source while a crack scatters the light adding a ‘tail’ to the light source
- Determining the distance of objects may be affected
- A damaged windscreen makes a car unroadworthy
Windscreens can also be damaged over time. While not fail proof, ensure that you keep your windscreen clean.
Using windscreen wipers that have collected dirt or on dusty windows can add to scratches that collect over time. Worn or perished windscreen wipers can also add to this.
Therefore, motorists should regularly clean their windscreen and add an approved cleaning agent to the water tank that is used to clean the windows.
Even chips should be promptly reacted to.
Up to 30% of the time windscreen damage can be repaired rather than replaced. Once a chip spreads past a certain point, you will need to replace the entire windscreen.
Thus, if the safety implications do not appeal to your sensibilities, maybe the cost implications will.