With storms Arwen and Barra hitting much of the UK and bringing wind, rain and snow over the last few weeks, windscreen repair and replacement company Auto Windscreens, has seen its weather-related claims peak early this year.
James MacBeth, Auto Windscreens’ Managing Director explains: “We usually see the most weather-related claims between mid-January and March. At this time of year, usually only 5-6% would be a direct result of the weather, but at the moment, it’s 15-16%. It’s rare for us to have these kind of figures before Christmas.”
The North East, Scotland and the North West of England have had the highest proportion of weather-related glass claims, with 57.6% being weather-related in Sunderland, 53.5% in Tweeddale, 52.4% in Newcastle Upon Tyne, 46% in Lancaster and 42.8% in Teeside. Chester (36.8%), Llandudno (35.9%), Aberdeen (34.8%), Harrogate (33.3%) and Warrington (32.9%) were also in the top ten areas with a high percentage of weather-related claims.
Auto Windscreens is advising drivers to be extra vigilant about cracks and chips in their windscreens this winter, which can be worsened by plummeting temperatures, snow and ice.
James added: “It’s really important to get chips fixed as soon as you spot them – they’re more likely to turn into a crack during cold conditions. We’d like to remind drivers to never try to melt ice or snow on screens with boiling water – it can cause glass to crack or even shatter. Instead, give yourself some extra time to clear any snow with a soft brush and use your car heaters and a good quality de-icer or scraper to clear the whole screen.
“It’s a good idea to use a windscreen cover to protect against frost. Use anti-freeze screen wash and ensure it’s topped up. Try not to pull wiper blades off frozen glass or turn them on as the rubber may tear. Finally, always take it easy in icy conditions and give cars around you plenty of space.”