Arrive Alive

Road Safety and Avoiding Windscreen Damage

Road Safety and Avoiding Windscreen Damage

It has been recognized on the Arrive Alive Road Safety website that vehicle fitness and aspects such as a clean windscreen are important components to ensuring safety on the road. Drivers need to recognize the dangers from environmental factors such as road works and guard against fallen debris and the impact that this might have on damaging their windscreens.

What are the dangers posed by damaged windscreens?
  • drivers may take longer to re-adapt their vision following exposure to the stray light effects created through a worn windscreen ("dazzling") 
  • detection distances to objects on the road ahead may be reduced when looking through worn windscreens  
  • the contrast of objects on the road ahead may be reduced  - the consequence of which could be a reduction of visibility distances 
  • dirty windscreens seemed to cause drivers to crash twice as often in a driving simulator (as compared to driving with a new windscreen) and when driving with a degraded windscreen, drivers reaction times to a secondary task may be slowed. 
  • driving with a visually degraded windscreen induces fatigue and performance declines more rapidly than when driving with a non-degraded windscreen 
  • older drivers might find worn out windscreens to be even more debilitating compared with younger drivers
Windscreen Damage on South African roads
 
Based on the experience of PG Glass service centres more than 90% of windscreen claims result from stone damage.
 
It is accepted that debris on the roads like stones, rocks and grit will always have a direct influence on the number of windscreen claims. The more debris found on the roads, the more windscreen replacements you can expect.
 
Consequently, the concentration in the construction of new roads and road repairs that preceded and followed the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa did contribute to a higher incidence of damaged windscreens.
 
Newly built roads, old roads breaking up, resurfacing of old roads, pot holes, trucks driving on the road shoulder, flood damage, and spillage from trucks carting building materials or rubble are all causing more debris on the roads.
 
Road Safety and Avoiding Windscreen Damage
 
Avoiding windscreen damage on South African roads
 
The faster you go, the easier your windscreen will chip or crack when it is hit by a stone. That’s why city driving contributes to far less claims than is experienced from driving on the freeways and other national and provincial roads.
 
Likewise, the closer you follow another vehicle, the higher is the chance that a piece of debris will hit your windscreen.
 
The best way to avoid your windscreen from being damaged by flying stones or other debris is to keep a safe following distance in circumstances where such damage may occur, e. g. in areas of road construction, on gravel roads or when following a truck carrying building materials or rubble. Sixty meters is considered a safe distance.
 
It will also be a good idea to drive slower in such circumstances.
 
It is not only trucks carrying endangering loads that can cause damage to a windscreen. In a high number of cases windscreen chips or cracks result from stones thrown by the wheels of passenger cars.
 
All load carrying vehicles are compelled by road traffic regulation 246 to properly protect any goods it is carrying from being dislodged or spilled from such a vehicle. If not, the operator or the driver must take responsibility for resulting damage. In such a case you can identify the operator through the license plate, obtaining the name and address of the registered owner from your local licensing authority and take action against them.
 
However, you’ll have to prove that the object that caused the damage was spilled from the vehicle you identified.
 
If your vehicle is insured your insurance company would most likely cover the cost of replacement. PG Glass will even submit the claim on your behalf.
 
Also view:

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Transporting and using gas outdoors

Transporting and using gas outdoors

Using Gas during the Summer Festive Season Have you considered all the safety aspects when using your gas cylinder when travelling on vacation or spending time with family and friends in the outdoors? We asked our friends from Afrox and the LPGSASA for advice on how to do so safely: Transporting

Read More

Road Safety with a Cautious Smile for the Festive Season

Road Safety with a Cautious Smile for the Festive Season

The Arrive Alive Road Safety website would like to wish all road users a safe festive season on the road. This Festive Season we would like to combine the very serious message of Road Safety with a few cartoons to add a smile to the face of the South African motorist! We would like to share the following

Read More

LLumar Window Film and Road Safety

LLumar Window Film and Road Safety

Block Dangerous UV Rays LLumar window film blocks UV rays which may help to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Did you know car drivers have a higher rate of skin cancer on their window-side due to exposure while driving? LLumar automotive window film offers protection against UVA rays while sitting

Read More

Road Safety and your Cooling system

Road Safety and your Cooling system

The Cooling System/ Radiator and Vehicle Fitness How does my radiator affect my safety on the roads? It’s a part of the car that deteriorates with age and a component not always receiving the attention it deserves. People often argue “I will replace it when it leaks" or "I will

Read More

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Trucking Wellness & HIV Treatment

Introduction Trucking Wellness (TW) is an initiative of the National Bargaining Council for the Road Freight and Logistics Industry (NBCRFLI), which was launched in 1999. The aim of Trucking Wellness is to provide primary healthcare to those employed within the Road Freight and Logistics (RFL) Industry,

Read More

Texting and Distracted Driving

Texting and Distracted Driving

Introduction and Background Distracted driving is described as an epidemic sweeping our roads. This topic is receiving much attention internationally and we would like to discuss in this section of the Arrive Alive website the global impact and the risks of texting and driving! It has been revealed

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All