If the police issue you with a fine for driving around with a damaged windscreen, don’t be angry. Be grateful.
Contrary to what many people think, a damaged windscreen isn’t just an inconvenience. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Or ignored. The police know what a critical role the windscreen plays in protecting you, your vehicle’s occupants and other road users and they take anything that could put people’s safety at risk very seriously – like your damaged windscreen.
And that’s why you should be grateful if you get slapped with a fine.
It means the issue will be sorted out before it’s too late. Of course, no-one likes those unexpected penalties, but rather see it as a timely reminder that you need to take action so that nobody’s safety is put at risk unnecessarily.
Here are some of the key reasons why a damaged windscreen is dangerous:
It can affect the integrity of your vehicle’s structure. Your windscreen isn’t just there to protect you from flying dust or debris or to keep you dry if it rains. It plays a huge role in keeping your vehicle structurally sound, with some motor manufacturers saying that it influences up to 60% of a vehicle’s structural integrity, and any damage to the glass or the surrounds will weaken the structure and put occupants at risk in the event of an accident.
It can affect the driver’s visibility. Depending on where the crack or chip is located and how big it is, it can impair the driver’s vision which presents a safety hazard. Damage to the glass can also create a blind spot and because it can be disorientating, the driver can lose valuable reaction time. Cracks can also reflect light which can be distracting and dangerous.
It can affect airbag safety. Your car’s windscreen acts as a vital backstop to an airbag when it inflates and if the glass is weakened as a result of a crack or other damage, it may not be able to withstand the impact. The consequences of this happening could be catastrophic as the airbag would not be able to protect the vehicle’s occupants effectively.
Not every crack or chip in a windscreen is illegal and there are certain things that the law enforcement officials will look at when deciding on whether your vehicle is roadworthy and whether you’ll be slapped with a fine or not.
Traffic laws can vary between states and territories, but as a general rule, if the crack affects a driver’s ability to see the road or if it makes the windscreen unsafe, it’s a violation of the law. If the damage is larger than about 16mm in diameter, if it penetrates through all the layers of the windscreen or if a crack is longer than 150mm, you could be in breach of the law. The other thing to remember is that cracks and chips in your windscreen can spread, so while you think you’re safe driving around with some minor damage, things can change quickly.
So, even if you’ve only got a small chip or crack in your windscreen, it’s important to have it fixed up by a windscreen repair professional as soon as possible. It’s just not worth the risk continuing to drive around with something that may compromise your safety – and it’s certainly not worth taking the risk and hoping that the police won’t catch you either.
They’re always on the lookout for vehicles that aren’t roadworthy and significant windscreen damage will certainly result in a traffic violation and a fine. But while the financial penalty may hurt, rather see it as a timely warning that you need to get the problem sorted as soon as possible.
Many people are surprised at just how quick, easy and inexpensive it is to have their windscreen repaired and if the job is done professionally, the windscreen is restored to its full capabilities. Even full windscreen replacements don’t take long to do and depending on your insurance cover, can also be surprisingly affordable.
So, don’t take a chance with a damaged windscreen and hope the cops won’t catch you. Avoid a fine and avoid compromising your safety and that of other road users by having your windscreen repaired by a reputable windscreen repair company such as Autoscreens.
They offer mobile windscreen replacement and windscreen repairs in Perth and when you call them, you chat directly to the owner this highly recommended operation, so you know you’re getting personal service from the experts themselves. So, for prompt, convenient and affordable windscreen repairs and replacements in Perth, give Jason a call on 0400 200 086