Fleet News

Wet weather damage bill rockets by £12 million

DAMAGE to the UK's roads, caused by the worst weather since records began, has cost motorists an estimated additional £12 million in the replacement and repair of windscreens in the last five months. The claim comes from newly renamed RAC Auto Windscreens which, in the last five months, has replaced more than 200,000 windscreens - a 14% increase over the same period in 1999/2000.

The wettest year on record in the UK since 1766 with 51 inches of rain and changes in average temperatures ranging from -1.7 to 10.7 degrees centigrade has broken up road surfaces, with debris and de-icing grit being kicked up into the path of vehicles to devastating effect, according to the company. RAC Group managing director Graeme Potts said: 'In the past five months Tarmac roads have broken up under the stress of rapidly changing surface conditions caused by floods, snow and frost. With more debris being washed on to our roads, and road maintenance programmes unable to keep pace with the damage, it is easy to see why there is an upsurge in windscreen damage. In addition the rail crisis has contributed to the windscreen misery as more cars have been forced on to roads thus increasing their chance of damage.'

However, RAC Auto Windscreens says not all drivers are getting their windscreens checked claiming that 20% of cars are being driven with a windscreen that is damaged - one in 15 to the point of MoT failure. RAC Auto Windscreens managing director Mark Usher said: 'Drivers are at risk of causing an accident through putting off replacing their windscreens. We would encourage drivers to check their screens at least once a month.'

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