New research by windscreen specialist Mr Windscreen reveals that most Irish motorists still resort to water from a kettle to clear their windscreens on frosty morning, despite the risk of cracking the glass.
72% admit to driving off before their windows have fully cleared, and 1 in 5 forget to replenish their washer fluid, with women the worst offenders.
The survey of over 300 Irish motorists, conducted by TheResearchCentre.ie on behalf of Mr Windscreen, found that, with 58% of respondents, boiling water was the preferred method of clearing a windscreen, ahead of the car’s demister or ice scraper.
“On any given frosty morning our depots across the country will see lots of motorists come in having cracked their windscreens with excessively hot water,” explains Gerry Fitzgibbon of Mr Windscreen. “Replacing the windscreen, particularly today’s high-tech and heated screens, amounts to a considerable and unnecessary expense.”
“Any chip in the windscreen increases the likelihood of it cracking when exposed to overly hot water. It might surprise people to see how effective tepid or even cold water can be in defrosting a windscreen.”
The survey showed 72% of motorists admit to having driven away before waiting for their windows to clear, with 1 in 12 saying they do so regularly. Younger male drivers are most likely to offend. While 12% of male drivers admit to sometimes forgetting to fill the washer fluid reservoir, this doubles in the case of women motorists. Munster drivers are more likely to forget than others. Little more than half of motorists countrywide say they use an anti-freeze additive, though this rises to 77% in the case of those in Connacht.
“In Ireland, frosty mornings can come unexpectedly, so it is important for motorists to ensure they are equipped with scraper and anti-freeze before the temperatures drop,” says Fitzgibbon. “We also recommend that motorists drop into us for a free windscreen check to make sure they are safe for the conditions ahead.”