May 15, 2009

Different types of organisation send out different types of press releases. Rat catchers warn about the growing incidence of rodents. Shoe repairers report the rising tide of injuries amongst the ill shod. Beehive security people must be having a field day.

By the same token Autoglass are delighted to report‚ sorry, deeply concerned about‚ increasing levels of windscreen damage caused by unrepaired potholes in the UK’s motor transport infrastructure.

Fleets, the company claims, should brace themselves for “a surge in the number of potholes on the country’s roads” and the consequent necessity of repairing or replacing many more windscreens.

They even have some figures to support this shocking claim. According to the Asphalt Industry Alliance, an entirely non-fictional organisation with a strong attachment to imperial units of measurement, there is now “one pothole for every 120 yards of road in the UK”‚ a 30% rise on their last annual guesstimate.

Autoglass’ Nigel Doggett affects a sombre countenance and concedes reluctantly that: “The potholes mean that the amount of windscreen replacements will rise. Driving over a pothole causes vibration in the windscreen which can turn a chip into a crack, leading to a windscreen needing to be replaced.”

Shirley something can be done to avert this catastrophic crack epidemic. Thankfully, yes. Autoglass thinks it may have a solution. “We encourage fleet operators to have windscreens checked regularly,” Nigel encourages, “and to repair any chips before they have the chance to turn into a crack.”

A repair, he says, “costs between £50 and £70, while a replacement may cost anywhere between £150 to £1,000.” But anyone hoping to escape the carnage had better act fast. “Those prices are more likely to go up than down this year,” Doggett claims, citing “the weakening of the pound, the cost of oil – as glass is an oil based product – and windscreens getting larger.”

With an estimated 20% to 25% of fleet vehicles having glass damage at any given time, it looks like the UK’s windscreen repairers will have their work cut out.

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