Drivers who set off with smeary or frosty windscreens contributed to 22 fatal or serious injury accidents last year, and at least 19 people died and 259 were seriously injured in accidents where road users couldn’t see properly in rain, sleet, snow and fog*.

“An obscured windscreen could lead to road deaths”, warns AA president, Edmund King at the recent National Road Safety Conference in Brighton. “Particularly in winter our patrols report numerous cases of drivers peering through frosted, frozen or filthy windscreens. Drivers should regularly clean their windscreens, ensure they have adequate screen wash and make certain their side mirrors are clear too.”

Don’t take any chances, make sure you allow an extra 10 minutes to defrost your windscreen properly before setting off and follow these quick tips for windscreen safety:

  • Scrape off frost or snow with an ice scraper (or a plastic card will work if you don’t have a scraper).
  • Use a de-icer spray to quickly melt any ice on your windows. If you don’t have any de-icer then try a salt water solution or luke warm water instead. Never use hot water as it may cause your windscreen to crack!
  • Use air conditioning for faster demisting and to reduce condensation on cold windows.
  • Use a higher concentration of screenwash, a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash will reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather. Don’t use ordinary engine antifreeze as it will damage paintwork!
  • Reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the windscreen clean inside and out. Now is also a good time to renew worn wiper blades.

* Department for Transport, Reported Road Casualties GB 2013


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