Every once in a while, Naijauto.com puts out articles like this that outlines interesting and fun facts about features, parts and type of automobiles as well as interesting historical facts about automakers/brands generally. You don’t want to miss our next one!
In this post, we have shared 11 fascinating facts about the car's windscreen.
This automobile component has really brought a lot of convenience to modern day driving compared to the past when drivers had to wear goggles in order to protect their eyes from the massive breeze that keeps hitting a car when moving.
Below we have highlighted some amazing facts that we think all modern-day drivers need to know about this crucial auto part;
1. Windscreens used to be an optional luxury auto part in the early days
Most of the early-day cars didn’t come with a windscreen/windshield at all. They were provided as part of additional accessories that were optional.
Early cars had no windscreen and drivers had to wear goggles to shield the breeze when driving
Back then, windshields were optional luxury items and in order to have one fitted on your vehicle, you will be needed to order it specially – and like you would guess, it usually carries an exorbitant cost in those days. Only the car owners with bigger pockets could afford to use one on their vehicles.
2. The windscreen wiper was invented by a woman
Yes, in the year 1903, Mary Anderson was the woman who invented the now popularly used windshield wiper. Surprising, isn’t it?
Mary Anderson – the woman that invented the now conventionally used windshield wiper
She had gotten her inspiration of inventing the windshield wiper after she had watched the particular trolley car faced challenges in cleaning falling snow covering its windshield.
Mary Anderson received a patent for the windshield wiper. You can check how she invented it here: The history of car windshield wiper
3. The windscreen is a part of vehicle’s Airbag system
The windscreen/windshield of most vehicles is actually a part of the vehicle’s Airbag system by build setup. So, if any problem is encountered with a vehicle’s windscreen, it could be that such a vehicle’s airbag system wasn’t deployed properly or it might be the other way around.
4. Windscreens support the roof of cars
Many drivers are unaware of this fact that the windscreen/windshield of cars actually contributes to the firmness needed to have a vehicle’s roof in place.
Windscreens generally support a car’s roof
For most cars, if the windscreens were to be absent, the vehicle’s roof would literally collapse and may cause various injuries to the passengers.
The windscreen also provides some sort of additional protection for passengers in many accident situations, that could have the roof of the car cause a direct impact on the car occupants.
5. Tinting makes windscreens safer
Tinting a windscreen/windshield can really increase its level of safety.
The sun naturally emits intense Ultraviolet rays that can damage the glass of the windscreen naturally. This is why having a windscreen tinted can really help to evade this.
Tinted Windscreens are safer and protected more from the sun’s intense ultraviolet rays
>>> Explore more facts about your car! 8 weird car facts you may not know!
6. Tempered Glass used in windscreens reduces injuries
During Windscreen manufacture, the glass is tempered by the process of rapidly heating as well as cooling in cycles.
Tempered glass normally breaks up into very small pieces of pebble-size which makes them cause fewer injuries especially during car crashes or collisions.
7. Windscreens are vulnerable to extreme temperatures
Very high temperatures cause damage to windscreens. Take, for instance, your windscreen/windshield got frozen from extremely cold/freezing weather condition, you should not try melting the ice using hot water.
Video: This Weatherman Reveals The Secret To Defrosting Your Windshield In SECONDS
It is also not advisable to pour ice cold water on a windshield that has gotten really hot already as this can easily damage it. That sudden temperature change can literally make the windshield’s glass expand very quickly and even crack.
8. Shatter-resistant windscreen was discovered by a French chemist
Edouard Benedictus, a French chemist discovered the now popular shatter-resistant glass being adopted for the manufacture of the windscreen.
He got the idea from accidentally dropping one glass flask that contained collodion. After the incident, he discovered that the glass had cracked but still retained its very original shape still. And even though this discovery dates back to the earlier 20th century, it never got employed until sometimes around the year 1920 to be used for automobile glass.
9. The technology for windscreen repair has improved
In these modern times, especially since the year 1990, windshield repair technology has been seriously improved.
The current day windscreen repair technology has really improved than most people think
Technologies such as the “Rock Chip” windshield repair has now made it much faster and easier to seal up cracks which are not more than a foot long.
10. Badly fitted windscreen affects Airbag performance
If ac car's windscreen isn’t properly fitted, the passenger airbag’s performance can become really affected in such a car. This explains why extreme precision and the car is always given during a windscreen replacement.
11. It’s a crime in many countries to drive with a cracked windscreen
It is an illegal and even punishable offence in Nigeria and many other countries to be driving a car with a cracked windscreen.
Please note that a chip is different from a crack on a windscreen. A crack refers to a very distinct line or set of lines running across a windshield while a chip refers to very small damage which can be repaired.