Going away on holiday? Embarking on the great Australian road trip? While you are enjoying your holiday, your car may not. In fact, a road trip can be some of the hardest days in your vehicle’s life. Unfortunately, not many holiday makers check their car or arrange an inspection of their car before taking off on adventure.
Avoid being stuck by the road by following our handy holiday tips for your car checklist.
1: Check for Chips in Your Windscreen
A chip can easily turn into a crack if left unrepaired. This is due to the fact that your windscreen is an integral part of your car’s structural integrity. The stress placed on your windscreen can cause these chips to turn into dangerous cracks. Not only does this impact the safety of you and your family, it can make your car unroadworthy, depending on the location of the chip and how many chips there are.
2: Have Cracks Repaired
Our second holiday tip for your car is having chips repaired. Just like a chip, if your windscreen is cracked you need to have it repaired – or the windscreen replaced – before setting off on your road trip. A crack can be extremely dangerous in the event of an accident. Even a small bump on a rough road could cause your windscreen to shatter – which is extremely dangerous for you and your family.
Further, your airbags rely on your windscreen to operate. The windscreen allows the airbag to open up and out, protecting you and your front seat passenger in a collision or accident. However, a cracked windscreen can break, preventing the proper use of the airbag.
A chip or crack can also make your car unroadworthy depending on the damage and the location of the damage.
Further, if you are going on a road trip, it is likely you will be driving on roads less travelled. And these come with plenty of loose rocks, pebbles and stones. Getting hit with a rock or pebble is bad at the best of times. But if your windscreen is already cracked or chipped, then an innocuous little stone could cause incredible damage – and danger – to your car and family.
3: Ensure Your Windscreen is Roadworthy
If your windscreen is not roadworthy, you run the risk of being pulled over. Not only is this frustrating on your holiday, fines could eat into your holiday budget. As a result, it is important to ensure your windscreen is roadworthy.
Below are the roadworthy requirements for Victoria. One of our holiday tips for you car is that you should check the windscreen roadworthy requirements of whatever state you are visiting.
The area of the windscreen that is swept by the wipers is known as the primary vision area. This area may have bullseyes – compact circular cracks – and star fractures up to 16mm in diameter. An easy way to check the size of a bullseye crack is to grab an old DVD or CD. The hole in the centre of a DVD or CD is 15mm in diameter. If the hole fits over the damage, then your chip should be roadworthy. However, as the chip can easily turn into a more dangerous crack, we recommend you have any chips repaired before setting out on holidays.
When it comes to cracks in the primary vision area, a crack can be up to 150mm long. However, the crack should not penetrate more than one layer of glass on a laminated windscreen. However, chips and cracks have a tendency to quickly grow to a dangerous point that is no longer legal or safe. As a result, we recommend that you have your crack repaired or the windscreen replaced before going on holidays.
3: Discolouration and Other Damage
The roadworthy laws state that the primary vision area must not be discoloured, scratched, chipped or otherwise damaged to the extent that it impairs your vision. If you can no longer safely see out of your windscreen, you will need to have it replaced.
4: Avoid Road Hazards
A road trip might involve going off road or travelling on less developed roads. This raises the risk of pebbles and stones hitting your windscreen. If you already have a hip or crack in your windscreen, this could turn your road trip into a nightmare. Not only will it put you and your passengers at risks, but it could mean an expensive repair that eats into your budget.
It is also important to avoid vehicles that could cause a hazard on the roads. A truck or ute from a building site, gardening company, or a mining site could send left over debris hitting your windscreen. And if your windscreen is already weak, this could lead to a dangerous situation and an expensive windscreen replacement.
5: Stay in the Shade Where Possible
Even with window tints, your windscreen can be vulnerable to the extreme temperatures in Australia. Exposure to the sun and heat can affect the lifetime of your windshield, causing it to grow brittle and crack far easier. Where possible, park or pull over in the shade. Not only is it better for your family, it is better for your car. (According to the Cancer Council, you can indeed get burnt through a car window.)
Preparing to go on a fantastic road trip with the family over Christmas? Have you gone through our holiday tips for your car? Get your windscreen checked, repaired or replaced before you leave. Emergency Windscreens offers mobile services, meaning you can quickly and easily get your windscreen repaired no matter where you are. We will get you back on the road as soon and as safely as possible!