“Winter is Coming” may b a catchphrase drawn from Game of Thrones, but it is also a meteorological fact – and that means motorists need to be ready for everything that is coming.
That doesn’t just mean darker days with poorer visibility and the prospect of some roads being affected by snow and ice, major concerns though they are. It also means drivers need to take extra care with their windscreens.
Of course, there are some problems that can occur at any time of year, such as damage by thieves or vandals, loose stones flying up from a road surface and causing an impact, or an accident. But these risks are multiplied in autumn and winter.
Quite apart from the greater risk of vandalism that sometimes occurs on October 31st, winter weather can both create problems and make existing issues worse.
A good example of this is chips or cracks to a windscreen. If this occurs, it is important to seek windscreen crack repair services as soon as possible. These can impede your view at any time and cause you to fail your MOT. However, a greater concern is that weather conditions such as having frost and ice on the window can swiftly turn a small chip or crack into a major one.
This is caused because of the effect of cold on glass, which makes it contract and become more brittle. If there are fissures water can get into, this can spread the crack faster as it can freeze and expand, forcing them open. Windscreens can also come under pressure from the weight of snow on them, which can also make small areas of damage larger.
A further issue is potholes. Winter conditions can do the same to blemishes in the road surface as they do to windscreens, opening up more damage and causing widespread disintegration. The bumps can damage your car in many ways, not least by adding further impacts that can worsen windscreen cracks.
You can help limit the damage by keeping your car in the garage overnight and by using de-icer instead of a scraper, but ultimately getting a small crack or chip repaired is the one sure way to stop it getting worse.
Sadly, winter windscreen care is not just about preventing cracks getting worse. Dark nights will attract more burglars with the attendant risk of them attempting a car robbery as well as breaking into homes.
In addition, while a gritted road may reduce the risk of damage being caused by sliding on ice, gritting lorries can cause a problem for motorists, especially anyone following or trying to overtake them.
The reason is that the grit itself can have the same effect as stone chips, with the dangers of a ricochet that can see it bounce up and hit the windscreen. Occasionally, the grit comes out in large lumps, which can cause significant damage.
Ideally, you should hang back and then make any overtaking manoeuvre as quickly as possible to minimise the risk.
Winter is unavoidable and is indeed coming. But with the right care and swift action to deal with any windscreen damage, you can save yourself a whole lot of seasonal trouble.