Windscreens represent an important aspect of a vehicle.
Some insurance, that is 1st party or “comprehensive” policy, cover windscreen damage.
Normally, the rear screen is also covered. Other insurance cover even all glasses of the vehicle.
As a driver, you are advised to have a talk with your insurance agent to find out what your insurance covers you.
The windscreen of a vehicle is not only meant to protect passengers and the driver from rain, snow, dust and wind, but essentially to provide protection in times of accidents.
Original windscreens or for that matter, and all glass parts of the vehicle are actually made of laminated glass.
During accidents, windscreens and glass parts of the vehicle shatter and they break up into smaller pieces.
Laminated glasses, it is said, do not injure or cut up people.
These screens may cost slightly more compared to local screens which are cheaper.
A friend of mine once had an accident.
His vehicle’s windows panes shattered.
His face was badly injured.
Obviously, this particular friend was using non-laminated glass on his vehicle.
Among the many emergencies a driver faces is windscreen breakage.
A driver may wish to know how this happens.
1) The velocity of wind against the windscreen can easily cause it to break or shatter.
2) Heat and high temperatures of our Malaysian climate can easily lead to screen shattering too.
3) Screens can sometimes be damaged while being sent for repairs at workshop.
4) Pebbles and stones can at times be kicked up by cars in front of us.
5) Even kampung youths have been said to have used catapults and stones use by them have been frequently reported to have landed on vehicles windscreens.
Next, lets move on to the question regarding what a driver does should he discover his vehicles’ windscreen suddenly shattering.
The first step you should adopt is to reduce speed immediately.
Hold on to your steering firmly.
Do not panic!
The second advice is to engage your emergency lights instantly.
Some suggest that you put on your headlights.
This is to warn other motorists approaching you that you’re in an emergency situation.
Third, quickly find a flat, level road shoulder to stop your car.
If you should have an emergency triangle, quickly place it approximately 15 – 20 meters behind your vehicle, to warn other motorists.
Your next action would be to either call your mechanic or the A.A.M. (Automobile Association of Malaysia) for assistance.
If you decide to continue on traveling with your journey, then obviously you have to do something yourself.
If you should opt for the 2nd option, basically this is what you’ll have to do.
1) Place some old newspaper, old carpets or cloth on your dashboard.
2) Place the same items above on your car seat also.
3) Use a stone or a piece of wood to break the shattered windscreen completely.
4) Should you have none of the above, you are advised to wrap up your fist with a piece of thick cloth or newspaper to break up the shattered screen.
When then screen shatters, you can now see through and this would enable you to drive home or continue your journey, albeit slowly.
No matter how slow you move along, eventually you will be able to reach home or your mechanic’s shop.
Put on your emergency lights and headlights if you have to as an added safety.