Animals are the reason behind 17,820 cases of windshield damage in the United Kingdom each year, according to Auto Windscreens.
Birds, which fly into cars, are the main culprits, but other wildlife and pets are also responsible for chipped or cracked glass, company officials report. Deer, goats, monkeys, cows and dogs have all been cited by customers of the automotive glazing business.
“One of the strangest calls I have had was from a man whose back windscreen had been shattered by seagulls pecking at it,” says Kathryn Maloney, an Auto Windscreens’ customer service adviser. “They had seen their own reflections and were clearly trying to mate with themselves!”
“The majority of reports we receive about broken vehicle glass relate to stone chips, but every so often we get a customer who says a freak animal-related incident is the cause. It’s amazing how they manage to create such damage and end up in these ‘hairy’ situations!” says Chris Thornton, managing director of Auto Windscreens.
To encourage customers to talk more about their strange reasons for damage, Auto Windscreens ran a ‘weird windscreens’ competition on Facebook last month.
One lorry driver said: “I was driving my truck down the M1 one night and an owl flew into my windscreen. It left its outline on the screen and a big chip where its beak had hit!”