Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

SAFETY > EQUIPMENT > WINDOWS

Windows (Equipment)

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There are things you can do with regard to windows to improve your safety, both on and off the roads.

Question:

Safety Equipment Windows

Car Window Tinting

  • Will cut down on any outside glare.

  • Reduces UV radiation.

  • Keeps vehicle cooler.

  • Less prone to theft as it is more difficult to see inside cabin.

  • More protected from smash and grab theft.

  • Make sure that the shade of the tinting, and which windows are allowed to be tinted, are compliant with local laws otherwise it could invalidate your car insurance.

Car Window Damage

  • If you can afford to do so, replace any cracked or chipped windows, especially main windshield, which could otherwise compromise the strength of the window.

  • Due to stresses of travel, possibility exists of glass shattering while the vehicle is in motion.

  • Driving with a shattered windshield that has a hole in it runs the risk of glass shards being blown into your eyes.

  • If the windshield is dusty or dirty, do not use the wipers which can scratch the glass by scraping fine grit over the surface.

  • In a similar way to the point above, when the side windows are dusty or dirty, try not to open the windows until cleaned, otherwise grit can scratch the surface in the process.

Car Window Care

  • Wherever possible, park in the shade.

  • Before parking under a tree, have a look at any bird droppings on the ground, which will give you a good indicator of how likely your car is to be defecated on.

  • Sun Shield:

  •       Will keep your car cooler.

  •       Reduces cracking and fading of dashboard due to                        harmful UV radiation.

  •       Reduces the foggy film build up on the inside of the                    windshield from vapors coming off plastic and vinyl                    materials heated by the sun.

Car Window Cleaning

  • See tips.

  • Dirty windows can obscure vision.

  • At a certain angle, sunlight will flare up the light on a dirty window and drastically reduce vision.

  • At night dirty windows will create a glare from bright lights outside the vehicle.

Car Window Demisting

  • On cold mornings, the inside of the windows can easily mist up.

  • Windshield:

  •       Do not try and wipe while driving as you will lose focus on        the traffic and dangers that could arise. The window          will also quickly mist up again.

  •       The best solution is to set the aircon to the coldest setting        and directing the airflow directly onto the windshield. You        will literally see the mist rapidly disappear.

  • Rear Window:

  •       Switch on the demister, if installed. Do not to forget to                switch off once the rear window is clear.

  •       If no demister or aircon, try opening the side windows.

  • If all else fails, rather pull the vehicle safely to the side of the road and clean windows.

  • The cleaner the inside of the windows are, the less misting will occur.

Car Window De-icing

  • See tips for preventing and/or de-icing.

Do car windows block UV rays?

Yes, car windows can block a significant amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Most car windows are made of glass that has inherent UV-blocking properties. However, the level of UV protection can vary depending on the type of glass and any additional coatings or treatments applied to the windows.

Traditional automotive glass blocks a portion of UVB rays (short-wave UV radiation), but it allows UVA rays (long-wave UV radiation) to pass through. UVA rays are associated with aging of the skin and can contribute to skin cancer risk. To provide enhanced protection against UVA rays, some car manufacturers now offer windows with built-in UV-absorbing coatings or films.

It's important to note that while car windows can block a considerable amount of UV radiation, they do not provide complete protection. Some UV rays can still penetrate through the windows, especially if they are damaged or if the UV-blocking properties have degraded over time. Additionally, side and rear windows often offer less UV protection than the windshield, which is usually made with laminated glass that provides better UV filtering.

To further protect yourself from UV radiation while driving, you may consider using sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, wearing protective clothing, and using sunshades or window films specifically designed to block UV rays.

Is it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield?

Laws regarding cracked windshields can vary depending on the jurisdiction, so it's important to consult the specific regulations of your locality or the area where you'll be driving. However, I can provide some general information that may be applicable in many regions.

In most places, driving with a cracked windshield is not automatically illegal, but it depends on the severity and location of the crack. If the crack obstructs the driver's view or falls within the driver's line of sight, it is likely to be considered a violation of safety regulations.

Cracks that are relatively small and outside the critical areas of the windshield, such as the driver's direct line of sight, may be permissible to some extent. However, if the crack compromises the structural integrity of the windshield or poses a safety risk, it is advisable to have it repaired or replaced promptly.

It's worth noting that even if it's not illegal to drive with a cracked windshield, law enforcement officers may still have the discretion to issue a citation if they believe the crack poses a safety hazard. Additionally, if you are involved in an accident and your cracked windshield is deemed to have contributed to the incident or exacerbated injuries, it could impact liability or insurance claims.

To ensure compliance and safety, it's recommended to consult local traffic laws or regulations, or contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent authority for specific information regarding cracked windshields in your area. Furthermore, it's generally best to have any significant cracks or damage to your windshield repaired or replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving