One in five drivers use vehicles with damaged or defective windscreens, according to a recent survey by National Mobile Windscreens.

The findings follow two safety checks carried out by the Bristol-based company on major vehicle fleets.

One survey of more than 230 staff and company vehicles in the Midlands found that 47 vehicles required work while another check on a large fleet based in the Thames Valley found that 141 vehicles needed attention.

“Generally we are finding that around one fifth of the vehicles that we examine require either glass replacement or repair,” said Martyn Bennett, sales and marketing director.

The company said that some fleet operators are reluctant to spend time carrying out general safety inspections on their vehicles, or may be postponing any repair work because of demanding work schedules.

“Either way this is a false economy because a damaged windscreen can fail at any time and the vehicle then goes out of service when it is most needed,” Bennett said.

“Many of the defects we have found require immediate attention, while many other can lead to a glass failure if repairs or replacement are delayed much longer.”

He added that the figure may be higher for smaller fleet operators struggling to stay competitive.

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