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Dangers of a Cracked Windscreen

It could be the difference between life and death

Often small chips caused by debris from roadworks or from the load of commercial trucks can be small annoyances that we tend to ignore. However, small chips easily turn into running cracks that can extend right over a windscreen. This article is designed to highlight the importance of having an intact windscreen including some of the stipulations by the National Road Traffic Act designed to keep us safe on the roads.

Firstly all windscreens must be glass, as this is the highest form of protection from the outside elements one can possibly have. If the windscreen glass is shatter proof, this is even more beneficial to the driver in the event of an accident or flying debris.

Windscreens also need to be at least 70 percent transparent, with surrounding windows being 35 percent transparent. Any tint or film added to windscreens or windscreens must not contain bubbles, tears or scratches, as these can all expand to an extent where they would become an obstruction. Any graphics or pictures on a vehicle also need to be careful to not cover more than one-eighth of a rear window, windscreen or side window.

But what exactly makes an intact windscreen so important? Well if you look at some of the dangers of a cracked windscreen listed below you will most certainly be more wary or even the simplest chip.

Causing Blind Spots

When driving with a cracked windscreen, no matter how small the crack, it is likely that it will grow and cause an obstruction to one’s vision. No matter where on the windscreen the crack it, it has a chance of blocking one’s vision at a certain point. More seriously, a large crack can cause a blind spot on your windscreen, which at some point may cause a serious accident.

Accidents and Airbags

When an accident occurs and an airbag is deployed, very often the airbag inflates and rapidly strikes the windscreen. If a windscreen is cracked however, it may not be strong enough to withstand the force of the strike and can shatter. This could lead to further and unnecessary harm being caused by an accident. Secondly, if a windscreen is not properly intact the deployment of the airbag could be hindered, meaning the full benefits of an airbag are not available during an accident.

Structural Failure

If a windscreen is cracked it could lead to far more serious implications during a potential accident. A cracked windscreen is not as strong as an intact one and if an accident should occur it might not be strong enough to support the structure of the car. A windscreen is made to transfer the forces from an accident down through the front of a car to the chassis. However, if a windscreen is cracked it could lead to the roof caving in or the frame falling down on the passengers of the vehicle causing further harm that would not have been caused if a windscreen was properly fixed and fitted.