Hippopotumus on top of us

A hippo falling onto a windscreen was the strangest reason a customer visited Autoglass last year.

The vehicle glass repair and replacement company asked customers to reveal the wackiest things to damage their windscreens in 2016, generating some bizarre responses.

The hippo incident topped the list, with other animal interventions from a safari park camel, a dare-devil bee, flying fish and a squirrel holding a hazel nut that ‘landed nut first’.

Also in the top 10 was a misguided attempt to hoover car park tickets off the screen, a toddler’s temper tantrum and a meteorite shower.

Windscreens were also damaged by a plant pot following a lover’s tiff, bouncing onions and a coconut.

The research found that the most common cause of unexpected damage is stones and loose road surfaces (29%), with many screens falling victim to chippings from roadworks. This is followed by general mishaps (25%), ‘mysterious’ cracks which appear without warning often due to temperature changes (16%), animal-related damage (15%) and relatively rare occurrences of vandalism (5%).

Taxiarchis Konstantopoulos, managing director, Autoglass, said, ‘In these winter months, motorists need to be extra careful on the roads and with their vehicles. Take time to defrost screens correctly; rushing this process using the wrong tools or pouring water straight from the kettle can cause damage that can cost more time and money to rectify. Be sure to defrost thoroughly before setting off so visibility isn’t restricted – as our data shows there are plenty of hazards out there!

Every windscreen chip will eventually become a crack, so it’s important to get them fixed right away.’