Why you need a speedy windscreen replacement?
Since the invention of the first true automobile in 1885, there have been countless safety concerns. Some of these revolve around windscreen. To better understand the reasoning behind the laws encouraging speedy windscreen replacement, it is important we review the history of the automobile.
A brief history of the automobile windscreen
After almost 20 years of using the automobile, windscreens were still not in existence. The convention of the day was for automobile drivers to wear goggles to help shield their eyes from dust and dirt. Although this might seem laughable today, back then it made ample economic sense.
Cars back then travelled at moderate speeds and for shorter distances than they do now. Moreover, car manufacturing favoured open-air design and the manufacturing costs made these luxuries unavailable to the masses. These unique forces obscured the need for the windscreen up until 1904.
The invention of the windscreen coincided with the increase in the automobile’s power and speed. This ensured some form of first-degree protection at such speeds. However, it created a problem of its own. These windscreens as their name implied only protected from the gush of wind. It didn’t fare so well against other objects on impact.
During impact, it almost always injured the car’s occupants. This creates a quagmire. In a bid to resolve this, tempered glass windscreen was introduced. These glasses were harder and more resilient than their predecessors.
The shatter-unpredictability of tempered glass favoured the development of the laminated glass windscreen which is hard, flexible but also deforms gradually on impact. This is still in use today.
These windscreens are produced using the float glass process. The raw materials used include cullets (also called waste glass), water and various oxides derived from Sand, limestone, soda ash and lime. The process is called the float process because the glass actually gloats on a molten tin bath.
Thereafter, the windscreen is annealed in an oven before being cooled to room temperature. This removes internal strength and helps with its toughness. Then, the glass is cut into the desired shape with a diamond scribe. Finally, it is tempered to increase its elasticity and hardness.
The finished product
The finished product consists of a thin plastic interlayer sandwiched between two glass layers. This improves its strength and shatter-resistance greatly. Thereby making it a global standard, even in the United Kingdom. Prior to windscreen replacement, encapsulating the glass with plastic moulding is required for easy assembly.
The basis for windscreen maintenance
In the 21st century, vehicle ownership is important for the diverse benefits it offers. However, these benefits can easily turn into a spiralling cost centre for owners should they fail to properly plan their car maintenance.
Although most car owners easily overlook the windscreen, they represent a very important feature in every car. In the event of an accident, the state of the windscreen can be a major determinant in the survival of the victims. A properly maintained windscreen offers maximum resistance from shattered glass injury.
Additionally, windscreens are used for additional structural reinforcement of the vehicle’s body. This reinforcement helps reduce the probability of the vehicle getting compressed during an accident. The better the state of the windscreen, the lower the probability of the vehicle being crushed and vice-versa.
The importance of speedy windscreen replacement
Photo by Kelson Downes from Pexels
Various viable reasons exist for car owners to invest in replacing their windscreens. Some of these reasons are listed below.
1. To minimize safety concern:
This is arguably the most important factor that incentivizes windscreen replacement. Although most cracks are held in place by the plastic interlayer, continued use can result in dangerous fractures. Moreover, this affects the structural integrity of the vehicle and puts countless lives at risk.
In order to checkmate this, various government regulations have been instituted to reduce the use of cars with damaged windscreens. Whether they are long or small cracks, these regulations encourage speedy windscreen replacements. When deciding to change your windscreen due to cracks,
it is important to consider the following factors.
(a) The size of the crack: Small cracks are known to progress gradually into bigger and more expensive to repair cracks. Therefore, it is advisable for automobile owners to perform speedy windscreen repair to save costs. Cracks that are smaller than a single pound bill are considered small while all others are large
(b) The location of the crack: This refers to the exact location of the crack on your windscreen. Regardless of the size of a crack, if it affects the driver’s line of sight, the windscreen should be replaced. Repairs would still affect vision during driving. Smaller cracks along the windscreen’s edges can be repaired effectively.
2. Upgrading your windscreen for specific purposes:
accidents are not the only reasons for windscreen replacements. Replacements can be facilitated by a need to upgrade one’s car. A recent innovation within the windscreen industry is the multilayered solar control film.
This glass windscreen uses a unique polymer interlayer transmit about 90% of the visible light while rejecting almost 50% of the total solar energy. This provides such an amazing comfort for car owners as it improves energy saving.
Other novel technologies within this field include optical switching films and angle-selective glazing that seek to minimize the amount of heat reaching the car’s interior. This ultimately reduces the automobile’s energy requirement
3. Avoiding traffic violation:
Most countries allow the occurrence of minute chips on windscreens. However, this becomes a problem when owners neglect their civic duties and drive around town with a large noticeable crack on their windscreen. The state has the right to cite drivers for a traffic violation if this happens.
Sadly, the fines quoted by the government act as a deterrent. However, drivers must still proceed with the windscreen replacement or repair. This becomes a frustrating double cost scenario.
Therefore, the above contents reveal the reasons why speedy windscreen replacements are so important in the UK. It not only safeguards lives on the highways, but it also helps drivers save money that could have been spent paying traffic fines.