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Safety Windscreen

A pre-weakened windshield designed to break away in one piece.
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This windshield is to be manufactured with a built in weakness so that in the event of being struck by an occupants head, the windscreen will break away from the car in one piece. All that is required is a deep groove to be cut into the glass about one inch from the edge, all the way round.
DaveSt, Aug 30 2001

(?) Developments for Plastic Windshields http://www.glasslin...fo/auto_plastic.htm
directions in research for use of plastics in vehicle windshields [quarterbaker, Aug 30 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Might this distort the view for the driver? <obligatory wear-your-seatbelt seconded>
sdm, Aug 30 2001

       Moving at 60mph your head would make contact with the windscreen and probobly smash it before it broke away. Would it break away if somone outside lent on it while it was parked?
Fireraven, Aug 30 2001

       The windscreen on a modern car is bonded to the body shell because it forms an integral part of the structure of the car; it is actually a load-bearing member. This groove would weaken not only the screen but the entire vehicle.
angel, Aug 30 2001

       ... and might pop out under heavy cornering load (bit like the doors on early Elites)
Gordon Comstock, Aug 30 2001

       I once T-boned a car illegally turning left in front of me. I had been at about 60 mph and had almost no time to brake. The front passenger in the other car went to the hospital; I don't know whether they lived or died. My car was so mangled it could have been used in a driver's ed. video ("this could happen to you"). But I was wearing a seatbelt, and after regaining consciousness, escaped with a couple of very minor scrapes and bruises.   

       And of course, the dementia, which seems to have persisted (j/k).
beauxeault, Aug 30 2001

       Of course, I was annotating a couple of annotations, rather than the idea, so [obligatory mention of the idea actual idea (windscreen), to feign relevance].
beauxeault, Aug 30 2001

       The safest windshields are lexan, or plexiglass. Most racing car windshields are made of plastics, rather than glass.   

       Why aren't production car windshields plastic? There may be legal barriers, due to US federal regulations. But the primary reasons are scratch resistance, chemical resistance, and cost. Glass is relatively cheaper than plastic.   

       There are efforts to get plastics competitive, however. Old link provided.
quarterbaker, Aug 30 2001

       Certain plastics were prohibited inside of buses in UK; polycarbonates because under heavy impact they tend to shatter forming sharp pieces, and Perspex because it gives off cyanide when it burns.
angel, Aug 30 2001

       A bug strike will then do what?
jim_brain, Aug 30 2001

       OK so thieves can break in to the car far more easily, but they are going to break normal glass anyway. If they want to break in, they will. I just want to stop folk getting a faceful of scars like mine. Seatbelt wearing wasn't the law back then when I went through my windscreen.
DaveSt, Aug 30 2001

       Quarterbaker: US windshields are laminated, plastic-glass-plastic. That's part of the reason they break into little cubes, instead of splinters. Plastics haven't been strong enough to be a load-bearing piece of the car until just recently, without being incredibly thick <optic problems> or expensive. A plastic windshield the same thickness as the laminated ones would require the pillars on either side of the window to be much heavier.
StarChaser, Aug 30 2001

       What [StarChaser] said. They do break away - just not in one piece.
phoenix, Jan 21 2002


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