A year in review: The wackiest things to damage windscreens in 2016
By Maddy Price
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - 15:09
Autoglass®, the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company, has asked customers to reveal the wackiest things to damage their windscreens in 2016 and there were some downright unfortunate responses.
2016 has been a year full of the unexpected; from the lovers spat which resulted in a plant pot crashing through a windscreen, to the peculiar array of projectiles and damage-causing debris including bouncing onions, innocuous tiny sweets and a coconut.
Here’s this year’s top ten list of the weirdest things customers of Autoglass® said were the cause of windscreen chips and cracks in 2016:
- A hippo falling on the screen
- An inquisitive safari park camel
- A rogue cooking oil drum
- A misguided attempt to hoover car park tickets off the screen
- A toddler’s temper tantrum
- A dare-devil bee
- A rare meteorite shower
- A squirrel holding a hazel nut that landed nut first
- Flying fish
- A Heron-dous experience with a fast recovering heron with an odd flight path
This year’s data revealed that the most common cause of unexpected damage is stones and loose road surfaces (29%), with many screens falling victim to chippings from roadworks. This is followed by general mishaps (25%), ‘mysterious’ cracks which appear without warning often due to temperature changes (16%), animal-related damage (15%) and relatively rare occurrences of vandalism (5%).
General mishaps came in a variety of shapes and forms this year and were often avoidable: Ranging from people who shattered their screens by slamming the boot closed on large flat-pack furniture, kayaks or surfboards, to those who underestimated just how good their golf swing was, as well as the cars that became the targets of misdirected fireworks. To keep your vehicle intact it is important not to be too optimistic about the amount of space in your boot. Gardening mishaps also appear to be on the increase with many lawn mowers flicking up trouble.
Unsurprisingly, many avoidable motoring pitfalls caused damage including cranking up heaters on frosty mornings, make-shift ice scrapers or cold newly topped up screen wash on a sweltering day.
Taxiarchis Konstantopoulos, Managing Director, Autoglass®, commented:
“In these winter months, motorists need to be extra careful on the roads and with their vehicles. Take time to defrost screens correctly; rushing this process using the wrong tools or pouring water straight from the kettle can cause damage that can cost more time and money to rectify. Be sure to defrost thoroughly before setting off so visibility isn’t restricted – as our data shows there are plenty of hazards out there!
Every windscreen chip will eventually become a crack, so it’s important to get them fixed right away.”
Autoglass® top tips for getting your car ready for winter:
- Frosted windscreen? Turn on your engine and heater well before driving to warm your windscreen slowly from the inside – sudden changes in temperature can lead to cracks so don’t resort to pouring on boiling water!
- Replace those wipers. Old wipers are ineffective and can lead to smears, further affecting windscreen visibility. Replace your wipers yourself or get a technician from Autoglass® to do it for you during your vehicle glass appointment.
- Top up your screen wash. Icy roads aren’t just a slipping hazard. Gritted roads also lead to salt on windscreens so make sure screen wash is topped up.
- Have the right kit. Improvising and using a CD case or similar to clear your windscreen can lead to scratching, so remember to use a proper de-icer. And make sure you have first aid materials, blankets and a spare tyre in your car in case of emergencies.