Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2010 No Accident Record Shattered

Woke up late
Batu Tiga road jammed
Decided to turn off into Federal Highway (toll rate = RM1.10)
Federal Highway jammed, extended till the portion of road near the clock tower
Decided to turn off into Subang Airport road
All Clear
Took turn off route to Damansara toll exit
*Covers ears, squeeze eyes shut as auto reflex*
*Realises I can still steer the car - so it wasn't the tyres*
*Notices a 5 inch radial crack on windshield*
Continued driving
Stopped at the rest stop near the Damansara toll gates
Inspected damage
Called parents
Paid toll (RM1.00)
Continued on to office
Mechanic said the whole windshield would have to be replaced. He said we can claim the cost from our car insurer, as we did buy the rider which covers for windshield damages on top of the comprehensive insurance plan. He also said he could repair the more than 2 years old bumper damage from my first ever accident in 2008.

The damage
Apparently, the Myvi windshield has 2 layers of glass therefore the crack only penetrated the outer layer, and not all the way into the inner surface of the windshield. Nevertheless, with the crack, it would be easier for someone to poke a hole in my windshield if he wanted to.

I really thank God that the POP! wasn't my tyre exploding and that the crack was just at the corner and not my whole windshield. If it was either, I don't know whether I'd be here typing this now. I guess it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

A friend said I could make a report at the PLUS Highway office and make a claim from them - since the accident was caused by a flying stone from a grass-cutter along their highway. But I didn't take a receipt at the time, so it would be futile trying to prove to them that I was there at that time.

I can't believe that shortly after the incident happened, I started thinking about the mechanics of the accident. I was imagining how much kinetic energy the rock must've had in order to break the covalent bonds between the silica molecules in the glass. And perhaps the atoms/electrons would be spinning around frantically after the impact, maybe with some heat energy produced.

When I heard that the glass repairer could repair some cases of cracks, I started wondering how they would go about doing that. They would probably have to heat up the glass so that the displaced SiO2 molecules could realign themselves to a lattice arrangement and also the heat would provide the energy required for new covalent bonds formation. Anyway, I won't be able to see the outcome of a repaired glass windshield as mine is beyond repair and will be replaced with a new one.

So at the end of the day, I paid for an extra toll and ended up with a cracked windshield. Was it worth it?

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