Drivers warned against windscreen damage
Motorists have been warned against the dangers of driving with a chipped and cracked windscreen.
The experts at LeaseVan.co.uk have looked at the regulations around driving with a damaged windscreen and how motorists can best avoid chips and cracks.
Driving with a cracked windscreen can be classed as a motoring offence and if stopped, it could mean a fixed penalty of three points and a fine. If you’re involved in an accident, the offence could be much more serious.
The Highway Code states that drivers should have a full view of the road ahead with glass maintained in a good condition.
And if your windscreen is damaged, it could also result in a failed MOT depending on where and how large the damage is. It will need to be fixed before the vehicle is retested.
A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “A chipped windscreen is a problem you need to sort out. It always needs to be in good condition, so you have a clear line of vision and to protect you and your vehicle.
“Some cracks and chips can be repaired with a clear resin, but for most, the whole windscreen will need to be replaced.
“Whatever you do, don’t ignore the damage. Small chips can grow and become irreparable and secondary cracks can form through heat, moisture, frost, dirt and road vibrations.”
Here are LeaseVan’s tips to help prevent windscreen chips and cracks.
Replace wipers regularly to make sure they’re working to the max and removing all dirt and debris efficiently. Once a year should be frequent enough.
2. Icy weather
If your windscreen is frozen on an icy morning, avoid pouring hot or boiling water on to it to defrost fast. Sudden changes in temperature can weaken and crack the glass.
3. Take care
On roads with loose chippings and poor surfaces, take extra car to avoid anything flying up and hitting the windscreen. Be cautious on roads you don’t know and after any bad weather. Dirt can soon build up on flooded and windswept roads.
4. Keep your distance
Always drive at a sensible distance from the vehicle in front. Not only is this common sense and important for your own safety, it also reduces the risk to stones or gravel hitting you as the vehicle in front drives over them.
5. Inspect your windscreen
Check your windscreen regularly for signs of damage. Even the smallest chip or crack is worth getting repaired to avoid it becoming any larger.
And if your windscreen is cracked and you’re waiting for repairs:
6. Park in the shade
If it’s a hot day or just a sunny one, park in the shade. The heat can make the crack worse.
7. Avoid slamming
Shut the doors gently rather than slam them. A slam of the door could cause a pressure change and make the glass crack.
8. Clean the screen
Keep the windscreen clean but remember to do it gently.