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People are just realising what the black dots on car windscreens are for

People are just realising what the black dots on car windscreens are for

The feature isn't just there to make your windscreen look pretty and actually has a very important purpose

For most of us, climbing into our cars has become second nature.

Once you've been driving your motor around for a bit, got used to the biting point and have adjusted your seat to the perfect position, you tend to stop admiring every aspect of the vehicle.

As long as it gets us from A to B, that's all that matters.

But it turns out our cars have some pretty cool features that are often overlooked by drivers.

It might not be as trendy as the built-in seat massagers when you're behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi or Porsche - but they are impressive all the same.

One of these elements is in fact pretty much universal, so even if you're driving a three-wheeler, you don't miss out on the fun.

We're talking about the black dots that are plastered around the edges of your windscreen, of course.

Most of us barely pay attention to the distinctive design, but the purpose behind it has probably crossed your mind at least once.

The black dots on windscreens aren't just there to look pretty.
Getty stock image

Those black spots - known as dot matrices or a frit - actually have a very important role to play.

Rather than just being a funky feature on your windscreen, they help distribute temperature evenly across the pane of glass.

This reduces optical distortion or lensing while you're on the roads, making for a smoother and safer journey.

Experts at Autoglaze explained that this vision-bending phenomenon occurs when 'the frit band (the solid black one) heats up much faster than the windscreen's glass'.




It creates an optical distortion 'that makes either straight lines look curved or bowed inwards toward the centre'.

The 'gradually sinking' black dots dissipate the heat and spread it out evenly, lessening the potential of a warped view of the roads for motorists.

The handy dots also help to 'preserve the urethane sealant used to bond the glass to the frame', which keeps your windscreen firmly in place.

As well as this, they serve as a 'contact point between the glass and car frame'.

Autoglaze explained: "They create etches on the surface, making them rougher so the adhesive can stick better to the glass.

Most drivers are completely unaware of the purpose of the frit.
Getty stock image

"Frits are also there for aesthetic purposes. If you look closely, the contrast between the dark band and the transparent glass can look too obvious even when viewed from afar.

"Creating a halftone pattern or dot-matrix allows a gradual decrease in size, making the transition much more subtle and easier on the eyes."

The good people of Reddit weren't ashamed to admit they had no idea what the black dots were for and many were blown away by the answer.

One said: "That is brilliant and simple. So simple that it isn’t believable but so believable that it can’t be that simple!"

Another said: "I am stunned at the amount that I have learned about frit today."

A third added: "Huh.. I always thought they had some type of functionality like defrosting the windows."

And a fourth chimed in: "To adhere and protect. Sounds like a good life purpose!"

Others suggested they always thought it was another 'sun visor' to reduce the glare from the rays while you're behind the wheel.

Featured Image Credit: Reddit/PRM-reddit/Amanda Walker/Getty Images

Topics: Cars, Reddit, Social Media, Weird