This story was first published on December 2, 2009
Message warns drivers that roadside criminals are throwing eggs at the windshields of passing cars in the hope that the drivers will be forced to pull over due to obscured vision and therefore become vulnerable to robbery.
There is no evidence to confirm that such incidents are occurring on a widespread scale or in multiple locations. However, according to a January 2018 police report, a robbery like the one described did take place in Derbyshire, UK. (See Detailed Analysis below for more information).
IF YOU ARE DRIVING AT NIGHT AND EGGS ARE THROWN AT YOUR WINDSCREEN, DO NOT STOP TO CHECK THE CAR , DO NOT OPERATE THE WIPER AND DO NOT SPRAY ANY WATER, BECAUSE EGGS MIXED WITH WATER BECOME MILKY AND BLOCK YOUR VISION UP TO 92.5%, AND YOU ARE THEN FORCED TO STOP BESIDE THE ROAD AND BECOME A VICTIM OF THESE CRIMINALS. THIS IS A NEW TECHNIQUE USED BY GANGS, SO PLEASE INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. .
Plz do spread awareness.
Subject: Warning for drivers..egg attack
Very IMP info………..Please share with others
If you are driving at night and were attacked with eggs on your car’s windshield, do not operate your wiper or spray any water. Eggs mixed with water become milky and block your vision up to 92.5%. You are forced to stop at road side and become victim of robbery. This is new technique used by robbers….IN LEBANON NOW
Take care and have a Safe Driving.
This message, which circulates via email, blogs and social media, warns that roadside thieves are forcing motorists to pull over to the side of the road by pelting eggs at their windshields, thereby obscuring their vision. According to the message, if the wipers and window washer are activated after such an egg attack, the resulting mess will block vision from the vehicle by up to 92.5% and the driver will be forced to pull over immediately. Supposedly, the egg-throwing criminals can then rob the driver at will.
The message suggests, therefore, that drivers who have been subjected to egg attacks should not use their windshield wipers or washers, presumably so that they can still see well enough to drive on to a safer location before stopping to clean up.
As noted below, such robbery scenarios are not impossible. However, I have seen no evidence to confirm that they are occurring on a widespread scale or in multiple locations.
While the version included here suggests that such robberies are occurring in Lebanon, other versions are set in India or other parts of Asia. Many have no location reference at all. And none provide any details about precisely where or when one of these egg attacks has actually taken place.
Thus, it is difficult to ascertain if the warning message is based on a real event or is simply a cautionary tale intended to raise driver awareness about possible highway robbery scenarios.
However, many years after the message began circulating, one police report from Derbyshire in the UK indicates that such a robbery may have occurred at least once. A January 2018 warning on the Derbyshire Constabulary website notes:
It appears that an egg was thrown at the windscreen and when he got out if his car to clean it off he was assaulted from behind and apparently lost consciousness. When he regained consciousness, shortly after, he noticed that his wallet and phone were missing.
One of our officers, who was also travelling to work, came across the victim, offered assistance and phoned the police.
The victim was dazed and suffered bruising and a small cut to his head.
The incident is being investigated by Detective Sergeant Jim Bolus, who said: “This is a very rare type of robbery, we have been aware of social media speculation of offenders using this type of tactic but it is not something we have come across before.
I have not seen any reports of further such robberies in the area.
The Derbyshire police report further noted:
“Don’t be tempted to wash it off with your water and wipers as this will cause smearing and make it worse.
“If it is safe to do, drive slowly away from that location to a built-up, well-lit area where there are people about, before you get out your car to clean the windscreen.
Throwing eggs at a glass windshield would certainly make a significant mess. However, my own testing indicated that, if vision was obscured to the point at which driving was no longer possible, immediate use of the vehicle’s wipers and screen washers would likely remove at least enough of the egg to allow the driver to continue without pulling over straight away.
To test the scenario, I pelted two eggs at the driver’s side of my vehicle’s windshield and then immediately activated the windshield wiper and washer. I found that virtually all of the egg residue was rapidly removed from the area of the screen covered by the wiper blade. In fact, there was no significant blockage of my vision, even before the bulk of the egg residue was removed by the wiper blades.
The message states that the driver’s vision will be obscured by “up to 92.5%”. However, given the large range of variables that could impact on the outcome of a windshield egg attack, quoting such a precise figure seems rather absurd. Just how much the driver’s vision was obscured would depend on how many eggs were thrown, the size of the eggs, where they landed on the windshield, the size and shape of the windshield, how well the vehicle’s wiper and washer system was operating and other factors.
Given such variables, attempting to apply a meaningful percentage figure to the scenario is virtually impossible. Moreover, my real-world tests indicate that any obscuring of vision would likely be a great deal less than 92.5%.
The scenario described does seem to be a rather haphazard and hit and miss method of conducting a roadside robbery and one that would likely have a high failure rate. Other methods, such as posing as a motorist or pedestrian in distress, would likely be more effective and simpler ways of tricking a driver into stopping.
Of course, if your vehicle is attacked, by eggs or any other method, it would certainly be advisable to continue driving to a safer location if at all possible.