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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018

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north shore news nsnews.com

INSIDE: ! Smart driving can save your windshield ! Survive the holiday mall parking lot Glass technician Rick Courteau works on a windshield at North Vancouver’s Richmond Auto Centre.

A special feature of the

PHOTO CINDY GOODMAN

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A32 |

nsnews.com north shore news

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018

Smart driving might save your windshield

ANDY PREST aprest@nsnews.com

Among the many great things about living in the Vancouver area is that drivers don’t have to worry about windshield rock chips as much as the rest of Canada does.

With less snow and ice on our roads, there’s less call for the sand and salt and rocks that are the ammunition often seen hurtling towards windshields in other parts of Canada gripped by a more vicious winter. But that doesn’t mean windshield chips are out of the question,

and anyone who leaves the Lower Mainland this holiday season will most likely come across some situations in which they’ll be in the line of fire. Here are some tips on how to avoid the dreaded cracked windshield spider web:

KEEP YOUR DISTANCE This may seem obvious but it is the most effective way to prevent rock chips. If you tailgate the vehicle in front of you, you are closer to spray zone for their rear tires and more likely to get hit by rocks and more likely to suffer a chip. A larger space leaves

more time for a thrown rock to fall back to earth where it will bounce harmlessly away rather than slam into your windshield. Note that there are a host of other reasons why tailgating is a bad idea, but this just adds one more reason to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you.

NOTE THE VEHICLE IN FRONT OF YOU Big trucks are more likely to kick up rocks than small cars for a variety of reasons. The worst offenders are trucks that have four rear wheels rather than two. It’s simple math – adding two wheels doubles the amount of rubber on the road, making it twice as likely to kick something nasty into your windshield. Give these vehicles extra space or consider changing lanes if possible.

CHECK THE MUD FLAPS Large trucks normally have mud flaps but some do not, while others have flaps that are broken. This can provide another hint that you may be in store for a rock fight. Large truck wheels not only kick up more rocks, they also have the ability to throw them farther than normal vehicles. Rocks flying off the back of a big truck have the potential to do a lot of damage to your windshield. SLOW DOWN The faster you go, the more likely it is that any rock or object that hits your windshield will cause damage.

It’s better to repair those small chips before they force you to replace the whole windshield. PHOTOS CINDY GOODMAN shoulder? Are you crossing a gravel road? Be extra cautious if conditions make it more likely for debris to be on the road. Nothing can completely protect you from getting chips in your windshield, but

KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS Are you going through a construction zone? Has the road recently been sanded? Is there a truck pulling onto the

these simple tips can reduce your risk. As an added bonus, driving cautiously to avoid windshield chips will also reduce the number of rocks that hit the rest of your car, potentially saving your paint job.

Follow these tips when you get a chip ANDY PREST aprest@nsnews.com A small chip can turn into a big problem if left unrepaired.

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So you’ve done everything you can to avoid getting a chip in your windshield, but – oh no! – a rock flies out of nowhere, you hear the thunk and know that the damage is done. What do you do now?

Job No. 1 is to get the chip repaired as soon as possible so that the damaged area can be filled. Getting the chip repaired

could stop it from spreading into a larger crack and potentially save you from having to replace the whole windshield later. ICBC now allows customers who have their optional comprehensive coverage to get a chipped windshield repaired for free at approved facilities, provided that it is safe and appropriate to fix the damage. But what if you can’t get the damage fixed right away? It’s important to repair the chip as soon as

possible, but there are some short-term fixes to reduce the risk of the damage spreading. Here are some tips to help you cover that chip and keep it together until you can get a proper fix. DON’T WASH WITH WATER You’ll want to keep the damaged area clean, but you definitely should not wash it with water. Water can seep in through the crack and wreck your windshield, or

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at least keep the repair resin from working correctly once you do get it fixed. If you must clean off the area in or around a chip, it is best to use a clean, dry, lint-free cloth or paper towel. Be careful, however, not to put too much pressure on the damaged area, from inside or outside the window. TAPE IT! If you really can’t get the chip fixed right away there is one temporary fix to buy you a bit more time. Placing a piece of clear packing tape – the kind you would use to seal up moving boxes – over the chip from the outside of the window can protect the damaged area and keep moisture and dirt out. Note that it must be clear packing tape – using clear tape allows you to see through the affected area, and if you use other types of tape such as Scotch Tape, duct tape, masking tape or painters’ tape you’ll be doing more harm than good as it will not have the desired effect of keeping out dirt and moisture. FIX IT! Just to reiterate that packing tape is a quick, temporary fix that will not keep your crack or chip from spreading. A bump in the road, a change in temperature, a car door slam, or even exposure to an afternoon of bright sunshine can cause cracks to form. So get rid of that small problem as soon as you can before it becomes a big problem.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2018

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north shore news nsnews.com

How to survive a mall holiday parking lot their shopping lists or frustrated by their attempts to find an empty spot in a packed lot. Here are some tips from ICBC to help you navigate those busy parking lots this holiday season without adding a trip to the autobody shop to your Christmas to-do list:

ANDY PREST aprest@nsnews.com

Every year there are two things out to ruin Christmas: the Grinch, and mall parking lots.

We can’t do much about the Grinch except keep on singing, but maybe we can all do our part to make parking lots a little safer so no one needs to eat turkey through a straw in a hospital bed this year. According to stats recently released by ICBC, the number of crashes recorded in mall parking lots goes way up each December as drivers race to find the perfect gift – and the perfect parking spot – in the busiest shopping season of the year. ICBC’s stats survey found that in 2017 approximately 150,000 crashes occurred in parking lots resulting in 5,400 injuries, with the majority of those crashes happening in December, on Fridays and Saturdays, and between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. Parking lot crashes typically happen at lower speeds so the risk of serious injury is reduced, but drivers need to practice safe driving habits and be particularly aware of their surroundings in parking lots. Particularly during the holiday season, mall parking lots present unique challenges with heavy pedestrian traffic and increased congestion, not to mention the added layer of drivers distracted by

RULES OF THE ROAD STILL APPLY IN PARKING LOTS Drivers should know that the law still applies, even in mall parking lots. Avoid cutting diagonally through a lot – travel only in the appropriate lanes. Don’t use your phone while driving. Instead, program your navigation or holiday tunes before you start your car. TRY TO HAVE YOUR CAR PARKED FACING OUT This position is safest for drivers because it helps you avoid the risk of reversing into a lane with potential blind spots when leaving. PARK FURTHER AWAY, IF YOU CAN Instead of circling endlessly to get a spot that’s closest to the mall entrance, pick a spot that’s farther away. You’ll avoid a high-traffic area where you’re more likely to crash with another vehicle or hit a pedestrian. SLOW DOWN AND BE ON ALERT Drivers should drive slowly in

The festive spirit doesn’t always extend into the parking lot. New ICBC data shows that the number of crashes in mall parking lots goes way up during the busy Christmas shopping season. PHOTO PAUL MCGRATH parking lots to have enough time to react to an unexpected vehicle backing out of their parking spot or an unanticipated pedestrian, especially young children, who may be harder to see. PAY ATTENTION TO ARROWS AND STOP SIGNS Many parking lots are quite narrow, restricting certain lanes to a

Sitting idle in a lane can leave you vulnerable to a collision, and you could be blocking other drivers who are trying to leave.

single direction. Pay attention to the signs and markings on the road to avoid getting into a crash. DON’T BLOCK TRAFFIC Deciding to follow a shopper, then waiting for them to load their car, buckle up and leave, jams up traffic behind you and likely takes you much longer than if you had just found a spot farther away.

Trust Your Car

PLAY IT COOL There’s no sense in having a showdown with another driver for a parking spot. Move along, and maybe that good karma will net you something really nice this season.

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SAFE WINTER DRIVING TIPS:

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