Windscreen glass is designed specifically so that in the event of an accident it won’t shatter like regular glass. It’s also designed to be more durable, meaning that everything that hits it isn’t going to lead to a chip. However, despite its durability it isn’t indestructible. Damage can occur, but there are preventative measures you can take to avoid chips and even more severe cracks.
Windscreen wipers are in direct contact with the windscreen, so it’s especially important to keep them in good condition as part of regular car maintenance. If they start to wear out, they’ll begin to damage the windscreen. It’s recommended that wipers are replaced every 6 months because the rubber can deteriorate when exposed to the atmosphere.
It’s also worth giving them a good clean now and again to ensure that they’re effectively wiping the water away. Never add washing-up liquid to your windscreen wash. It could damage your windscreen wipers and leave a potentially dangerous film on your windscreen.
If unused for long periods of time, the rubber from the wiper blades can stick to the windscreen. This is something to be especially aware of during these lockdown times, when you may not be using the car as much as you usually do. A simple way to deal with this is to put plastic wrap under the wiper blades.
What is the difference between chips and cracks? Well, a chip can be repaired depending on its size and location, whereas a crack in most cases will require a new windscreen. If you notice a chip in your windscreen, then immediately get it fixed to keep yourself and your car secure. They can be repaired by resin injection to restore the windscreen to its full strength. If ignored chipped windscreens will crack resulting in an NCT failure and costly replacement. If the worst was to happen and you have purchased our Comprehensive Car Insurance policies there’s great re-assurance in knowing that you can call AIG’s 24-hour windscreen helpline on 1800 310 310. All you must do is give them your car insurance policy number and AIG will assist you in arranging any replacement or repairs.
One of the most common causes of windscreen damage comes from driving behind construction vehicles. Large trucks and construction vehicles have more wheels, making them more likely to kick up gravel and debris on the road, and if you are driving behind them, this debris can crack your windscreen. Your windscreen can even be in danger when driving beside them, so always attempt to stay ahead of them. If you must travel behind a larger vehicle make sure you keep a safe distance and drive at slower speeds.
In Ireland we don’t tend to deal with temperature extremes, but even the move from summer into winter has a drastic effect on your windscreen and the likelihood of developing a crack. Chillier mornings and colder nights lead to an increase in the risk of damage to your windscreen.
If you go into the colder season without repairing a small crack in your windscreen, it will get worse. The change in temperature causes the glass on your windscreen to expand or contract, which will cause a chip to turn into a crack fairly rapidly. For this reason, it’s very important to repair any cracks or chips in your windscreen before it gets cold or as soon as it occurs during freezing temperatures. Another tip for winter car care is to avoid using boiling water on your windscreen those frosty mornings to defrost the ice.
Ireland has somewhat of a reputation for dodgy roads. Fortunately, that isn’t so much the case these days, but that’s not to say that there aren’t some bad ones still out there. To keep your windscreen safe, it’s best to avoid these dodgy or gravelly roads. Gravel roads are made up of dirt, rocks and loose chippings which can shoot up and damage your windscreen. If you must travel on a gravel road, drive very slowly and be extra vigilant of other drivers who may not be taking similar precautions.
Following these tips will protect your windscreen but to make sure you’re fully covered, sign up for a car insurance policy with AIG. Windscreen cover is automatically applied to our comprehensive car insurance policies. You can rest assured that your auto glass will be taken care of thanks to our unlimited cover with selected repairers and up to €225 if you do not use a selected repairer. Find out more on our car insurance policy page and get an online car insurance quote in just minutes, or check out our car insurance FAQ page for more information.