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.
Like a bomb
Ms Murphy described the moment the swan collided with the glass as ‘like a bomb going off’ and the collision left the swan dead, the driver badly shaken and the vehicle in need of the services of a windscreen repair technician. Luckily, Ms Murphy had the presence of mind not to brake sharply during the incident or she would have been certain to cause a multi-car pile-up on such a fast road.
Modern windscreens are made from tough laminated glass, and for a blunt object such as a swan to actually come right through the windscreen rather than bounce off, it must have been an extremely hard impact. Ms Murphy was driving in the fast lane at the time the swan hit, but was able to get over onto the hard shoulder without further incident. She was aided by fellow motorist Alan Burke who had seen the incident happen, and a recovery vehicle plus the local police (the Gardai) soon came onto the scene.
Bird strikes in general
Bird strikes are not particularly common on our roads, you tend to hear about them occurring at airports where the noise of plane take-offs and landings cause confusion to flocks of birds on or around the runway – they take off in a panic and can get sucked into the engine air intakes or strike the plane windscreen, often causing damage. A swan strike on a car windscreen is much less likely to happen, but in fact this is the second time I have seen a news item relating to this particular hazard – the last time it was a strike on a stationary car which broke the windscreen. The explanation for that incident was that the swan was probably confused by a wet road which looked like a river and the tired swan had mistakenly swooped in to land on it and hit the car instead. I wonder if that was the cause of this particular incident? I guess we’ll never know.
Whatever the cause of your windscreen damage, you can be sure of getting a professional windscreen repair or windscreen replacement at a competitive cost by contacting your nearest myWindscreen technician, and get yourself a great value quote today.