Fleet News

Windscreen warning for cost-cutting fleets

FLEETS are being warned not to sacrifice driver safety amid attempts to minimise vehicle downtime when replacing windscreens.

A study by windscreen expert Autoglass has revealed that drivers grill vehicle repairers on how long a job will take or cost, but would never dream of questioning their safety credentials.

Just 28% said their greatest concern was whether the safest possible job had been done, while nearly twice as many were worried about whether they had been ripped off.

Ian Carlisle, managing director of Autoglass, said: 'If that is the case for the average motorist, then the problem will be more acute for fleet managers, who are always under pressure to reduce costs.

'In a business like ours, where you rely on your vehicles, minimising downtime is crucial, but fleet managers are also responsible for the safety of their drivers and we must always put that first. Poor workmanship can turn cars into death-traps and fleet managers must make sure they are asking the right questions about their suppliers' safety credentials.'

Autoglass points to research by the Transport Research Laboratory that shows how a properly installed windscreen can provide up to 30% of a car's structural stiffness and more than a third of the vehicle's torsional rigidity.

It also states that poorly installed windscreens can be pushed out when airbags are deployed.

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