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The Dangers of Driving With a Dirty Windshield

Posted in Car Accidents on December 17, 2019

While it may seem like common sense, the dirtier a car’s windshield gets, the more likely a person is to be involved in a car accident. Visibility is the most important part of driving, and anything that obscures a driver’s view is a hazard. While you may not often hear of a car accident being caused by a dirty windshield, these incidents do occur. Most people do not think about how dirty their windshield is until it becomes obviously dirty, which is often after visibility is significantly reduced.

What causes a windshield to become dirty?

There are several ways in which a windshield can become dirty. The most common hazard is dust. A thin layer of dust on a windshield may seem harmless, but this can reduce visibility. Dust can increase the glare from the sun during the day as well as from headlights at night. Even a small amount of dust on a person’s windshield can catch incoming light, causing intense glare for a driver. Losing visibility due to increased glare, even for only a moment, can cause dangerous conditions.

Dust can also create more fog. In foggy conditions, or when there is high humidity outside, dust particles make it easier for the moisture in their air to hand onto the windshield. This is the reason that dirty windshields fog up faster than a clean windshield.

Dust is not the only problem. Dirt and mud can also decrease a driver’s visibility. This is particularly a problem when it is been raining outside. It does not matter whether there has been heavy rain or light rain, a windshield can become dirty quickly. If you are driving around other vehicles when the roadway is wet, their tires will cause a mixture of water and dirt to splash your windshield.

Drivers also need to be aware of dirty windshields inside the vehicle. Over time, the inside of the windshield will accumulate dust and grease. This will decrease visibility and increase glare just like dust on the outside.

How you can prevent driving with a dirty windshield

It is critical for all drivers to take steps to ensure their windshield is clean. Maximum visibility is one of the best ways to remain safe on the roadway. The following tips will help keep you, your passengers, and other drivers on the roadway safe:

  • Make sure you have the right type of windshield wiper fluid. If you are in an area that regularly has freezing temperatures, make sure you have a fluid that will not freeze.
  • Clean your entire windshield regularly, including the areas where the windshield wipers will not reach. Preferably, do this every time you stop for gas.
  • If your windshield becomes cracked or heavily scratched, speak with a windshield repair professional about replacing the glass.
  • If you drive regularly in rain or snow, understand that your windshield will become dirty very quickly.
  • Dry weather can cause dustier conditions, so make sure to clean your windshield more frequently during dry periods.

While having a clean front windshield is vital for safety, please remember to keep all of your car’s windows clean. This includes both inside and outside. Every window in your car can become dirty and decrease your visibility on the roadway.