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30 June 2006

Sunshine signals glaring danger for motorists

Soaring temperatures and sunny skies may have signalled the arrival of summer, but as thousands get ready to hit the roads for their annual holiday, Autoglass is urging motorists to take extra care, warning that a combination of strong sunlight, dirty windscreens and worn wiper blades could spell danger.

Nigel Doggett, managing director at Autoglass says: “While drivers take extra precautions to make sure that they are safe on the winter roads, most forget to prepare their cars for summer driving. Yet the glare from the sun plus insect debris and dust on the windscreen can impair driver vision, leading to a serious safety risk.”

To stay safe on the roads this summer, Autoglass is advising drivers to keep their screens dirt and smear-free at all times, cleaning them with screenwash - not household washing-up liquid which can leave a film over the screen - before a long journey. Washer bottles should also be kept filled, while wiper blades should be checked regularly and replaced if worn and tired. In addition, motorists are advised to get any chips in the windscreen repaired, as hot temperatures could potentially cause them to crack further. Chips that are less than the size of a British pound coin can usually be repaired in minutes, and the cost is covered by most fully comprehensive insurance policies.

“No matter how good a driver you are, if your vision is impaired, your safety and the safety of your passengers and other road users, is at risk,” continues Nigel. “It takes just minutes to perform these simple checks before a journey, and it could save your life.”

Good sunglasses are essential to shade eyes on sunny drives. Motorists are also being advised not to forget that although most windscreens are fitted with a UV filter, by having side windows down and sunroofs open on hot days, they could be putting themselves at risk of sunburn. Good suntan protection is, therefore, a must.

Autoglass is committed to the safety of its customers and is helping motorists keep their vehicles in top condition by offering free windscreen vision safety checks at its branches located across the UK. The service includes checking the windscreen for chips and assessing the condition of wipers. If the wipers are in need of replacement, Autoglass can supply the new blades, which will be fitted free by an expert technician.

With 119 branches nationwide and 1,200 mobile service units, Autoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement service. For details of your nearest centre call 0800 36 36 36 or visit

Autoglass top ten holiday driving preparation tips
1) A clean windscreen is a safe windscreen – make sure yours is clean before any long journey. Remove stubborn insects, sand and grit with a clean nylon mesh sponge and warm water
2) Check the interior of your screen and windows too – smears on the inside of the glass can also obscure your vision
3) Don’t ignore chips – not only can they obstruct your vision, they can crack further in the sun – get them checked at your local Autoglass branch
4) Check your wipers – if yours look tired and worn, get them replaced
5) Wiper blades should be cleaned regularly with warm water to remove insects and other debris to prevent damage and premature wear of blades
6) Check windscreen washers to make sure ‘spray holes’ are not blocked
7) Corroded or worn pivot pins will spoil the wiper action. Check the angle of the wiper arm and readjust if necessary
8) Don’t forget your sunglasses – the glare from the sun can be potentially blinding. Shield your eyes with protective shades
9) Remember your suntan lotion – by having side windows down and sunroofs open on hot days, you could be putting yourself at risk of sunburn
10) Be careful if you suffer from hayfever - watery eyes and bouts of sneezing can seriously impair your vision, while antihistamine tablets can cause drowsiness. Always check the label of your medication.



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