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  • Cracked Windshield Rule?

    I've heard some rumblings on a rule about cracked windshields. Is the RXB discussing this currently? If so, could someone give me the reasoning behind it?
    Jim Perrin
    WNY Region
    NEDIV RX Steward

  • #2
    Yes, the RXB discussed this topic at our annual strategic planning meeting during last week’s SCCA National Convention. From a safety standpoint, how much damage to a windshield is too much damage? The current RallyCross rules provide very little guidance on how Tech and Safety officials should address cracked windshields. A member-proposed rule change was submitted for consideration during the 2017 rules review process to address cracked/broken windshields: “All vehicles must contain a supporting structure equivalent to the load bearing potential of the factory windshield, with no cracks. This is to be followed at all regional and national events. Any vehicle with a cracked windshield and without a sub structure, of pre-approved composition to compensate for it will be disallowed.” Member feedback did not support adopting this change. (See the “2017 Proposed Rule Changes for Member Comment” thread on this forum.)

    The RXB supports adding guidance on cracked windshields to ensure driver safety and we tasked the R-X Safety Committee to come up with a recommendation for updating the R-X rules. The RXB reviewed the Safety Committee’s proposal at last week’s meeting and is in the process of finalizing a rule change to address damaged windshields. Watch for an official announcement soon.
    Keith Lightfoot
    Colorado Region
    SCCA Rules Committee Chair
    SCCA RallyCross Board

    Comment


    • #3
      Hopefully it's not too late to voice an opinion.

      If you are relying on the "load bearing potential" of the glass that is glued in place, I think we have bigger issues to address.

      In NY, we have an annual vehicle inspection. According to their rules: "No crack of 11 inches long or longer is allowed if any part of the crack is within the area cleared by the windshield wiper." Which means longer cracks are ok, so long as it's not in the path of the wipers. So they are essentially just making sure it doesn't obstruct vision.

      Some states don't even bother checking.

      There was discussion about this among division stewards, and no one seemed in favor of adding a rule for it. Is there any data that would justify, or even suggest, that it would improve safety? Of all of the rollovers that rallyx has had, has anyone been injured in any way, but would have been safe if the glass wasn't cracked?

      I understand the need to be proactive about safety. However, I also know that throwing rules at things is how we become Solo. It's easy to say, "no cracked windshields", if you have a halfway decent car that you have a few bucks into...which is probably the case for the majority of national level competitors. The problem I see is that most of the regional competitors I know are running cheap cars because they can't afford to break or maintain decent cars. Adding another $300+ bill to replace the windshield on their $500 beater might be a deal breaker for them, and the region would lose another competitor. In some regions in NEDIV, events only have a dozen people to start with...and in some cases, that aforementioned car is being driven by 3 or 4 people. On top of that, I live in an area where road debris seems to crack a windshield on my DD at least once a year.

      I've seen some rollovers first hand, and they've all been slow motion ones, as a result of a wheel digging into a rut. I don't see how this rule would have changed the outcome at all. I know we need to do what's necessary to make sure events are safe, but if we don't weigh that against real world effectiveness and account for possible consequences, we'd just end up with events requiring roll cages and only attended by a couple people., which is not the spirit of the sport. The spirit is "road legal cars".

      Ok, I'll get off my soap box now. Good luck with your decision, as I can see it won't be an easy or popular one.

      Jim Perrin
      NEDIV Rallyx Steward
      Jim Perrin
      WNY Region
      NEDIV RX Steward

      Comment


      • #4
        From engineering perspective, a rigid adhesive windshield does add to rigidity of the body it is NOT however structural part of it nor does it add to structural strength of it. State authorities that regulate windshield cracks, do it solely based on visibility aspect. I think this rule is completely unnecessary and will serve as deterrent to competitors. I think this subject should be left to discretion of the Safety Steward as it is now.

        Comment


        • #5
          I bought my SE-R in 1998 with a five-inch crack in the windshield, and nothing has changed over the course of 100k abusive miles of RallyCross, Solo, track lapping, and street use. It's not in my line of sight, and the car has passed tech in National RallyCross and Solo (and other orgs) without issue.

          I have some insight into the call for clarity in the rules, so I'm more understanding than a typical entrant. Volunteer event officials need solid guidance. However, I am not the typical entrant. I'm invested with a dedicated RX car, serve the club in some capacity, and have the income to replace something that has not needed replacing thus far.

          I agree that the messaging is potentially obtuse, and possibly a deterrent if the threshold is too low. Effectively, the ask is to for potential entrants to buy a new windshield before they are allowed to spray their car with dirt and gravel. We understand that RX is not an attrition machine just for junkyard beaters, but the hesitation among RX novices is real. Some with minor cracks are going to weight it as a $40 entry fee versus $240 entry fee proposition, then wonder what sort of cost and carnage would demand such a rule.

          If I were me in my school years - eager, but perpetually broke and only having one car - I could see delaying or avoiding RallyCross participation over a windshield replacement that could just as easily buy a bunch of track time, mods, travel, etc. I don't know how to market such a rule to outsiders. It doesn't sound easy, but I would urge caution.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't see it mentioned here, but did in other windshield discussions.

            There was talk about if the rule was imposed, it might come with a "One time warning allowance".

            I'm not for "warning allowances". Either it's deemed safe as is, or it isn't. For any other actual safety problem, we wouldn't/shouldn't allow "warnings".


            That said, I'm not in favor of any rule book regulation on window cracks. There's uncountable safety situations that can occur and we can't/shouldn't try to capture every single one of them in the rule book, especially subjective safety issues with objective rulers. I'd leave it up to tech and the safety stewards to make windshield judgement calls. If needed, issue a tech bulletin with general advice. My rule of thumb on the phone is "if it's not visually impairing and no full breaches, your okay", but I always reserve the right to reject on site.

            Frankly the more safety issues we try to capture in the book I believe we're taking the responsibility of bringing a safe car off the driver and putting it on us. With that responsibility comes liability.

            Jay W
            Last edited by woodrufj; 01-27-2017, 01:19 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              The idea that windshields are "structural" in modern cars is a myth from the 80s, as an excuse for why certain poorly-designed compact cars would break the windshields if you hit a bump hard. Flexible body plus poorly designed windshield frame areas would equal broken glass when it would get compressed.

              Just like the unleaded fuel causing valve recession myth, it's a non-explanation invented to shift for poor design elsewhere.

              What should be of concern is not for roof integrity (it adds none) but internal integrity. A line crack isn't going to cause any issues. A spiderweb style crack turns the glass into a long, thin beanbag, and shouldn't be allowed past tech (or driven on the street).

              Going by what the state says is permissible isn't much useful because states all have differing opinions. In Michigan you may drive without a windshield but you still have to have wiper blades. In Ohio, you don't need a windshield or wiper blades

              55mph without a windshield is not a very pleasant experience, either.
              Last edited by Pete; 01-27-2017, 02:11 PM.
              '84 RX-7 #9 Mod Rear
              '81 RX-7 #74 Prepared Rear
              '06 S60R #588
              '86 Quantum Syncro #34 Mod AWD

              Comment


              • #8
                If a rule were absolutely necessary to appease the insurance company, I would be ok with allowing a single crack of any size, but any type of "spider web" or multiple cracks would not be allowed.

                But I'd much rather just leave it up to tech and safety discretion.
                Jim Perrin
                WNY Region
                NEDIV RX Steward

                Comment


                • #9
                  Unless an automotive windshield engineer documents that a crack of whatever length and configuration compromises the safety of the driver, then all those that say it does or does not affect safety is conjecture. Do we have someone in the club that does this or have we consulted an engineer?

                  Let's look at the Solo rulebook for similar guidance. I would expect to find a safety related item to be in the safety section (3.3.3). Nothing to be found there. A search of the entire rulebook and there is no mention of cracked windshields.

                  Unless our insurance company requires this as Jim pointed out, why are we barking up this tree? This is not an issue. Please don't make a rule for something that is unnecessary.
                  Charles
                  RXB
                  RX Rule Committee chairman
                  MR 1986 Mazda RX-7
                  SA 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Unnecessary rule is unnecessary.

                    I have to ask and I hope someone answers me candidly; is this meant to keep cars that rollover at Nationals from competing for the rest of the event?

                    Modern laminated windscreens pose no threat to anyone inside or outside the vehicle and offer exactly ZERO structural benefit.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm with everyone else on this. It's not going to help anything, and can drive competitors away that bought their rust chariot for under $1000. We are the dirty step-child in the SCCA family, but are important because we draw in a younger crowd due to the cost effectiveness of our grass-roots racing. It's the safest and easiest way for these kids to feel like they could be the next Ken Block or Travis Pastrana.

                      -Brian Chabot

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [QUOTE=Crawlerado;n1198]

                        I have to ask and I hope someone answers me candidly; is this meant to keep cars that rollover at Nationals from competing for the rest of the event?

                        /QUOTE]

                        The intent of the rule is to provide clear guidance on what is acceptable in a damaged windshield. The rules do not currently define what is deemed acceptable and it is left to the discretion of the Safety Steward to make the decision on what is deemed safe. In the event of a roll-over depending on how sever it is the windshield is typically damaged from the weight of the car on the A Pillar and Roof. It would be common for the windshield to be damaged to the point the car would no long be fit for competition.
                        Mark Macoubrie
                        RXB
                        Kansas City Region
                        2005 STI 41 PA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It would be ridiculous to go with a no cracks rule. In my state, Missouri, cars have to pass a safety inspection before being licensed. My Subaru has cracks in the right side of the windshield from a rock hitting it. It passed the inspection easily since it wasn't blocking the driver's vision. The idea that a windshield would provide structural integrity in the event of a rollover makes no sense since the first thing that happens in a rollover is that the windshield cracks! I agree that they should have a statement about that any cracks in the windshield can't impede the driver's vision and let it go at that.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I wanted to post these before but I couldn't find the one video. Both are available in 720p HD.

                            Find the crack in the windshield (hint: it's on the driver's side)

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5seuleYzYo

                            Find the crack in the windshield (hint: it's on the top)

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtoL_9RSl_E
                            '84 RX-7 #9 Mod Rear
                            '81 RX-7 #74 Prepared Rear
                            '06 S60R #588
                            '86 Quantum Syncro #34 Mod AWD

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I started this thread thinking that there was still time to stop the rule. Turns out I was wrong. However, there is hope! Propose a new revised rule in the 2018 rule proposal thread!
                              Jim Perrin
                              WNY Region
                              NEDIV RX Steward

                              Comment

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