One of the most frustrating things that happens when you're driving is when the vehicle in front of you hits a stone in the road, the stone flies up and it hits your windscreen. It's never possible to 100% avoid this situation, but there are ways to reduce your risk. Wondering which roads to avoid? Which vehicles are the most threatening? Here's what you need to keep in mind if you want to avoid getting stoned.
1. The Smoother the Better
First and foremost, start by choosing the right paths. While getting off the beaten path may sound nice in theory, it can be dangerous for your windscreen. Avoid gravel roads, and stick to smooth tarmac.
2. Two-Second Rule
There's an old safety rule called the two-second rule. Not to be confused with the five second rule that deals with how long you have to eat food after it's fallen on the floor, the two-second rule refers to how much space you should leave between yourself and the vehicle in front of you.
To measure this, watch the car in front pass a light post or another stationary object. You shouldn't pass that object for two seconds. Another metric to use is one car length for every 8 km/h you are driving. So if you're driving at 24 km/h, you should hang three car lengths back. This helps you avoid rear end collisions, but also protects the windscreen from being brutally stoned by the car in front of it.
3. Double the Trouble
In an ideal world, you never have to drive to close behind any other vehicles, but unfortunately, traffic and congestion often makes it hard to follow that rule. If you leave the space, another car will just get in between you and the vehicle in front of you.
That said, choose the vehicle you drive behind carefully. If you see two tyres, hang back and get behind something else. Two tyres are double the trouble—they will throw stones more than single tyres on their own.
4. Great Mud Flaps
The mud flaps on trailers protect those tyres from mud, but they can also protect your windscreen. If you're getting behind a vehicle, check out their mud flaps. Don't get distracted by the designs. Instead, look at their condition. If they're sturdy and solid, you don't have to worry. If they're crumbling and broken, you might want to pick another vehicle to follow.
5. A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
Finally, if your windscreen does get stoned, contact an auto glass replacement service to have it fixed as soon as possible. Remember the old adage "a stitch in time saves nine". This means that if you have a little hole or rip and you fix it right away, it doesn't spread, and you don't have to do nine stitches. The same is true of windscreens. If you fix a little ding, it prevents it from spreading into a big crack.