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A Clean Windscreen First Time

Everyone likes to think that they can save themselves some money, so when I read that the best way to clean your car windscreen was to use newspaper, I was keen to give it a go. According to the article I read, the ink used to print the newspapers is slightly abrasive and contains solvents, so if you rub the windscreen with damp newspaper, it will dry to a streak-free shine and all traces of road film and insect corpses will be gone. My paper recycling bag is full of newspaper every week, especially in the summer months when I don’t use any paper to light a fire, and it seemed a win-win prospect. I would not only be helping the environment by re-using some of the paper, but would also avoid using up paper towels or having to wash window cloths.

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Falling Branch Smashes Windscreen

A family had an incredibly lucky escape recently when a large branch sheared off a roadside tree and crashed through their car windscreen as they were driving along a road in Staffordshire. There were three people in the car – an 8-year-old girl and 2 adults, and they were travelling along Rugeley Road in Cannock Chase. The adults, seated in the front of the car, were extremely lucky to escape without serious injuries, as the branch actually passed between them before hitting the young girl who was the back seat passenger. An ambulance and a paramedic attended the scene, but after seeing that the girl had suffered puncture wounds to her face and a broken arm, the Air Ambulance was called and the girl was airlifted to the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, where she underwent treatment in the Major Trauma Unit.

Oak, Ancient Woodland, Nature, Tree, Old

As it happens, I am familiar with this picturesque area of Staffordshire, as I used to go camping nearby in my old VW campervan. Rugeley Road has a large number of mature trees on either side, and in some places it is a little like driving through a tunnel or an archway under the leaves. This particular group of people were unlucky enough to be underneath one of these mature trees when the large bough became detached, and one end drove itself straight through the front of the moving car.

Extensive damage

The damage from the falling branch actually wrecked most of the front and roof of the car, as well as smashing the windscreen, so was clearly a freak and terrifying accident, and the end result could have been a whole lot worse. I sincerely hope that the young girl recovers totally (and quickly) from her injuries, and that the parents get over the shock.

Who maintains roadside trees?

This incident got me thinking about the question of who is actually responsible for ensuring the safety of trees that are growing over the highway.

I did a little research, and found that if the tree is growing on the actual roadside verge, and not within a hedgerow or a field boundary, it is usually maintained by the local authorities. They are responsible for ensuring that the tree is unlikely to fall into the road, and that there are no visibly unsafe limbs which could fall and cause an accident. However, if the tree is growing within a field, a hedgerow or in a ditch on the road side of the hedgerow, it is the responsibility of the owner of the adjacent land to maintain the tree.

Whoever is responsible for the tree, they must ensure branches (even when wet, which can cause them to droop), are at least 2.5m higher than the road, and they must maintain a vegetation-free 1.2m width to any footpath.

We may never know what caused this particular Rugeley Road tree incident, but it has certainly made me more vigilant when driving under overhanging trees, especially when the weather has been rather windy or stormy.

Lucky Escape for Driver

A driver on the M25 had an extremely lucky escape recently when part of the braking system of the HGV he was following came loose and smashed through his car windscreen. Andy Foster, aged 33 years old, was driving his Nissan Qashqai at around 65 miles per hour, when a brake disc became detached from the lorry, and hit his windscreen. The disc was red hot and spinning as it landed, and actually burned through the windscreen. Luckily, Mr Foster had the presence of mind to duck as the object came towards him, otherwise it would have hit him in the neck.

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Is This Smart Windscreen a Smart Idea?

Samsung has recently announced that it is developing a ‘Smart Windshield’ for use on motor scooters, and is trialling it in Italy. It is not really a brand new technology; it uses the same type of mobile connectivity that has already been applied in heads-up displays on cars and other four-wheeled vehicle windscreens. The difference is that information is to be displayed on a motor scooter windshield, and the system consists basically of a smartphone app connected to a projector. The app will project information onto the windshield, giving the rider hands-free access to that information.

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Where’s Your Blind Spot?

According to official figures, around 1% of the road accidents that occur each year are caused by the driver having a blind spot, and as a result, approximately 25 people lose their lives. One of the major causes of blind spots is ironically enough related to a safety feature – windscreen pillars and door pillars that have tended to become wider on modern cars. The increase in size of the pillars has often come about in order to increase their strength and offer more protection in a collision, but that’s not the only reason. The other reason is to do with styling – modern car designers appear to favour designs with wide pillars, and they are sacrificing all-round visibility for cosmetic reasons. Continue reading

Avoiding Sun Glare Problems

Sunshine in winter can often take drivers by surprise, but during the early part of the year, problems caused by sun glare tend to peak. During the hours near to sunrise and sunset, the sun is at a low level in the sky, but can still be extremely bright, and the glare that this causes can be dazzling. Many vehicle crashes are caused by sun glare, the Department for Transport figures show that it amounts to 2% or roughly 3,000 of all road collisions where death or injury occurs. Thankfully, with a little care and preparation, motorists can avoid the problem. Continue reading

Be Prepared for Snow in Winter

The weather in the early part of the year can be pretty miserable, with wind, rain, sleet and snow, and 2016 has been no exception so far. You would imagine that motorists, especially in places that are prone to extreme weather, would be prepared for wintry weather in winter. Apparently not. A motorist in Scotland appears to have been caught out by an overnight snow storm and didn’t have time to clear the snow off the car before setting out. Video footage has emerged of a car being driven along with the windscreen practically covered with snow, during the morning rush hour on a road near to Aberdeen. Continue reading

Five Months to Replace a Windscreen?

It’s the kind of story you never want to be personally involved in – it took a total of five months for a car owner from Hedon, a small Yorkshire town, to get a satisfactory replacement for a cracked windscreen. The problems began when 45 year old Jason Marshall bought himself a car, a Mini Cooper, which already had a chip in the windscreen. Being a sensible car owner, he decided to get the chip attended to before it propagated into something more major. Continue reading

Parking Fine Damage Payout

I read recently that Canterbury City Council has had to pay compensation to a car owner after a traffic warden fixed a parking ticket to the car windscreen, and it was claimed that the adhesive had damaged the glass. The ticket was for a fixed penalty of £25, and the compensation awarded was £41, leaving the car owner a nice little profit of £16. A spokesperson for the City Council stated that the damage claim had been investigated ‘fully’, and was clearly a ‘one-off’ event. It was also stated that the money was paid out by the Council’s insurers, and that there were no plans for the Council to change the type of adhesive used for penalty notices in the foreseeable future. Continue reading

Shattered Windscreen but Still Driving

Cambridgeshire police were recently astonished to find a driver on the A1 who was continuing on his way despite his car windscreen being completely shattered. The vehicle, a Mitsubishi L200 Animal, was seen by an ambulance crew at a quarter to ten at night heading southbound on the A1 near Boongate (Peterborough), and they sent in a report to the local police. Traffic police stopped the vehicle and interviewed the driver, a man in his 30s. Continue reading

A Recipe for Road Rage

Being tailgated by an inconsiderate or aggressive driver is frustrating, and many drivers feel a strong urge to let the offender know their feelings. In the normal run of events, the only choice is to gesture, shout or blow your horn in the hope that they will notice, but 9 times out of 10 the action goes straight over their heads, and the driver in front thinks it’s meant for them. Frustration with other drivers is the number one cause of road rage incidents, and it’s a good job that carrying guns isn’t so commonplace in the UK as it is in some other countries, where bad manners can lead to a shooting. Continue reading

Bug Free Windscreen

Here is a little question to get you thinking of long hot summer days – if you’ve been driving for more years than you care to remember, cast your mind back. Do you remember driving through agricultural areas and finding your windscreen thickly coated with defunct insects? I certainly do – it seemed as though you had to wash the bugs off several times a week so that the windscreen wipers didn’t spread the poor creatures into a distasteful smear which got in the way of a clear view as well as looking disgusting. This doesn’t seem to happen so often these days. Is the change due to a shortage of bugs, or is it the design of windscreens that has changed? Continue reading

Damaged Windscreen Wipers and a Sinister Note

Yet another case of a car being damaged while the owner was away. In this case, a Glasgow woman was alarmed when she came back to her car, which had been parked legally in a residential street in East Kilbride, to find the windscreen wipers damaged, and a threatening note lodged on the windscreen. The note accused her of parking in the ‘wrong’ location, and stated that her tyres would be slashed if she did it again. 25 year old Gillian Woods was naturally alarmed at the sinister tone of the note, as she had parked perfectly legally in a free parking area, well away from any reserved resident’s parking places and not causing an obstruction to anyone. Continue reading

Winter Windscreen Care

At this time of year, the ground is totally waterlogged and the air is damp, and it’s impossible to prevent that moisture from getting inside your vehicle, whether it’s a car, a 4X4 or a commercial vehicle. The moisture doesn’t just seep into your upholstery and carpets; it rests on your vehicle glass, causing reduced visibility. If you allow the dampness to persist, when the frosty mornings arrive and you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, you end up with the delays involved in scraping the outside of your windscreen and windows. Not only that, you have to defrost the inside of your vehicle glass as well which only adds to the delays. Continue reading

Mother’s Fury at Smashed Car Windscreen

An Asda worker who earns just above the statutory minimum wage has been left furious by some yobs who smashed her car windscreen for no apparent reason other than simple vandalism. Amanda Cato, aged 56, hit the news when she wrote a note to the vandals, highlighting that what they had done had cost her a week’s worth of hard work just to pay for the repairs. She stuck the note, addressed to the vandals and pointing out the impact of their actions, under her windscreen wipers. Continue reading

Fake Parking Ticket on your Windscreen?

A spate of inconsiderate parking by visitors has led residents in an area around Ulster Hospital to take direct action. They have been putting ‘fake’ parking tickets on offending car windscreens. There have also been complaints that cars have been damaged in an ongoing row over parking in the area of Northern Ireland. The problem is that although local residents are often inconvenienced by the visitors’ cars, the location is a public area, and there are no parking restrictions. Continue reading

Should I get my Cracked Windscreen Repaired?

Should I get my cracked windscreen repaired? Of course you should – while in many cases it’s legal to drive with a cracked windscreen provided the driver has a clear view of the road ahead, in reality the windscreen plays a major role in the structural strength of your vehicle. It’s probably OK to drive with a cracked windscreen to get your car home and to call your nearest myWindscreen mobile technician, but it’s not advisable to ignore the damaged windscreen and continue with normal motoring. It’s not over-dramatising the situation to say that if you are involved in an accident which causes your car to roll, the integrity of the windscreen can be the difference between walking away from an incident or having to be cut out of the wreckage of your vehicle. Continue reading

Swan Song for a Windscreen

Swans are large impressive birds – a beautiful sight whether they are serenely floating along on the water or flying through the air. A Republic of Ireland motorist, however was less impressed when a swan ended up coming through her car windscreen as she was driving towards Cork from Mallow recently. The major Cork to Limerick road is particularly busy, not the kind of place you would usually associate with wildlife, so Mary Murphy was surprised when she saw the swan flying over the road at a rather low level. She imagined that it was disoriented or in some kind of distress, but didn’t have time to react quickly enough to avoid it when it suddenly collided with her Suzuki SX4 windscreen and came right through the glass. The poor creature ended up lying on the steering column having completely shattered the windscreen and knocked off the SX4’s rear view mirror. Continue reading

Protect Your Windscreen While Driving

We all know that it’s sensible to get chips cracks and scratches attended to quickly before they develop into more serious damage. No sensible individual wants to be stranded at the roadside waiting for a windscreen repair when they should be on their way to work, an event or on holiday. However, there are many and varied ways that your car windscreen or 4×4 windscreen can get damaged while you’re out on the road, and some of these dangers are avoidable with a little common sense. Here are a few tips to avoid at least some of the hazards your windscreen faces every single journey. Continue reading

What a Way to Damage Your Windscreen!

I read an interesting news item recently which involved a man and a woman who were on a night out in Helston, a town in Cornwall. The evening degenerated, and they were apparently having some sort of an argument at close to 1am. As things began to get rather heated between them, the woman got into her car, a Mazda 323, and tried to drive away. This move enraged the man, who allegedly threw a punch at the car windscreen as the car was driving by, and the punch was hard enough to cause the windscreen to shatter. Continue reading

Noisy Windscreen Wipers

Do your windscreen wipers screech or judder as they wipe your windscreen? Noise and vibration can not only be irritating, it can be distracting too which can affect your driving, so if you’ve got a problem with noisy or chattering windscreen wipers, you need to do something about it. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can try, and get your windscreen wipers working efficiently and quietly. Continue reading

A Lucky Escape for Driving Instructor

As if teaching people to drive wasn’t dangerous enough, a driving instructor had a narrow escape from injury when a scaffolding plank flew off the back of a builder’s truck and hit his car windscreen. The windscreen was smashed and the Peugeot 208’s dashboard was scraped by the heavy plank, in an incident that was caught by the driving instructor’s dashcam. Continue reading

Water Repellent Windscreen Coatings

Even though it’s summer we are still under threat of severe weather, including thunderstorms and heavy rain, which brought the subject of water repellent windscreen coatings to mind. Have you ever tried them? People have mixed reactions to the thought of covering their vehicle windscreen with a coating of some kind – will it work, will it affect your vision and will it come off or get damaged easily? Continue reading

HGV Windscreen Smashed by Yobs

I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit nervous if I have to drive under a bridge that has people standing on it, especially if they’re hanging around the sides and watching the traffic underneath. I dread the thought of a missile coming crashing through my car windscreen and causing a dangerous incident, maybe even a fatality. Sadly, throwing missiles at passing vehicles is a popular ‘sport’ for some mindless individuals, and it’s extremely difficult to catch anybody in the act as the perpetrators are off and away before anyone can realistically give chase. Continue reading

Driving Abroad This Summer?

Do you plan to take your car overseas this summer? A great many motorists do and it gives you a great deal of freedom to go wherever you want to, but there are some things you need to be aware of before you go and while you’re away. For example, a recent survey revealed that over half the motorists questioned didn’t know whether their car insurance covered them for driving overseas. One third thought their policy did cover them, but a worrying 10% said they knew they were not covered for overseas travel, but decided to undertake the journey anyway, effectively driving abroad without any car insurance at all. Continue reading

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myWindscreen is a network of likeminded independent vehicle glass technicians covering England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The auto glaziers have a combined experience of over 400 years in repairing and replacing windscreens and side glass for all types of vehicles. myWindscreen was formed with one vision, to provide an affordable, reliable and honest service to private and commercial customers in the UK. Our auto glazing technicians provide just what you need - professional, local, 24-hour service at low prices and a free smile on all jobs .

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