Windscreen Damage

Submitted: Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:01
ThreadID: 25024 Views:1869 Replies:9 FollowUps:1
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Something my old man taught me....

He always said to put a hand on the windscreen when a car was approaching on a dirt road, as this would stop the screen cracking if a rock was thrown up(something about absorbing the vibrations).

Is there any truth in that? I know he never had a cracked windscreen, only a few chips here and there.


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Reply By: TASPAJ - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:18

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:18
Hmmm I just don't think that would quite work. I think the windscreen will crack if the rock is large enough hand on the screen or not. Anyone willing to test this theory???
AnswerID: 121889

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:51

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:51
I think maybe and old husbands (wifes) tale. Usd to be the go with toughened windscreens, the ones that bleep ter rather than the laminated windscreens. But then how would you know whether it worked or not?
AnswerID: 121893

Reply By: pjchris - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:53

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:53
The 'theory' behind this was that it slightly dampened the resonance in the glass and would 'stop' it from breaking.

However...this applied only to bleep terglass windscreens, and even then some studies showed that stiffening the glass actually made it more likely to bleep ter rather than less, although this would obviously vary from car to car and 'screen to 'screen due to size, shape and thickness variations.

In a modern car with a laminated screen I doubt you would achieve anything by putting your hand on the screen except to leave a large greasy print to clean off...


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AnswerID: 121894

Reply By: ev700 - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 11:15

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 11:15
Given that some might wish to gesticulate with one hand (a friendly wave to the considerate chap speeding in the other direction), an OH&S issue could arise if the remaining hand is used to hold the windscreen.

Of course there are some who always have one hand continuously engaged elsewhere but they are probably the ones who are speeding in the other direction, throwing up a hail of stones.

Slowing down will lessen the risk of breakage and we all have a vested interest in promoting this as a common code of courtesy.

Can't expect trucks to go slower on gravel - it's against their religion to drive below the speed limit. - Easy guys, just taking the mickey ;-)
AnswerID: 121899

Reply By: joc45 - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:18

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:18
I remember lots of people who did the hand trick years ago, but fortunately, I think most people today have seen the light. Leaning forward at an awkward angle with one hand on the windscreen, while caning it along a loose gravel road didn't seem to me a clever idea.
There was also a device sold around that time which comprised a suction cup on the inside of the windscreen, anchored by a rod back to the dashboard. Claimed to offer similar protection to the windscreen as the hand-on-windscreen trick. Haven't seen them for a long while. Message there somewhere, I'm sure.
AnswerID: 121910

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:43

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:43
My old man used to do the same thing. That brings back memories. 40 odd years ago, flogging around the country roads in NW Queensland. Not much bitumen up there back then

It must have worked. Never got a broken windscreen!!!
AnswerID: 121916

Follow Up By: locallaw - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 16:49

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 16:49
Gidday Norm,Back 40 years ago cars etc didnt travel that fast.LOL
Seeya Locallaw
FollowupID: 377104

Reply By: cmilton54 - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:40

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:40
Have had broken windscreens with and without hand on windscreen. Pre laminated screen days. goes off like shotgun usually had to stick fist through screen to see because screen bleep tered but not fallen in. Laminated screens were the best invention since sliced bread.
AnswerID: 121986

Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 00:07

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 00:07
I REMEMBER THAT and I dont consider myself old. Comes from the days of un laminated windscreens and very unfrequent dirt road travelers. these days you just claim it on your 1 free windscreen a year polocy. Does it work???? maybe if you can put up with pulling over and putting your hand on the windscreen every 5k
AnswerID: 122044

Reply By: JamieMac - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 08:50

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 08:50
I think the reason is that the older tempered/heat treated windows would bleep ter into thousnads of bits and blow in once they broke. If theywere supported a little then that may let the thousands of bits stay in place as best they could until you pulled over. I have had this happen on an old Holden when laminated windscreens were a new thing!!
AnswerID: 122070

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