Have you ever considered how dangerous it might be to drive with a broken windshield? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Many drivers don’t know the dangers and often put off having repairs or replacements done. We understand, taking the time and expense to have a windshield replaced isn’t really high on the priority list for anyone. Unfortunately, when you avoid or even ignore having this repair done, problems often follow. In this article, we are going to take a look at the dangers involved when driving with a broken windshield.
Debris and Moisture Are the Enemies of Cracks and Shatters
Think about what sandpaper does to wood or what a river does to rocks. Environmental factors wreak havoc on your windshield, made worse when you have a crack or chip. Debris will slowly eat away at your window blemish, opening up the possibility to become a more significant problem. Naturally, this won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, which makes the issue a game of chance. All you have to do is add one more factor, like driving over a pothole, and that small chip turns into a crack that stretches clear across your windshield. What’s worse, a chip can often be repaired affordably, but a crack will require a full replacement.
Temperature Impacts Glass Performance
Have you ever watched a glassblower? They use extreme heat and cold water to shape and mold their art pieces as glass is a fragile yet strong material. You won’t see these significant shifts in temperature like this with your windshield, but you can see how heat impacts the performance. You will see a minor expansion of the material with your windshield. That expansion will pull your windshield apart at any opening. By contrast, when the glass is subject to cooler temperatures, a contraction occurs. Every time this expanding and contracting happens, you’re inviting more dust, debris, and moisture into the blemish. As you might guess, this is all you need to experience more cracking or shattering. Even a swing in temperatures will turn a small blemish into a far bigger problem if left unattended.
Chips and Cracks are Vulnerable to Pressure
This makes for a funny analogy, but it’s true, the opera singer and the wine glass. You likely saw this in just about every cartoon series you ever watched as a kid. The singer belts a note, and every glass piece around them breaks. This is the story of pressure. In the story of the opera singer, we are talking about pressure from sound waves. With your vehicle, we are talking about air pressure and glass. These two don’t always play well together. Small blemishes or rock shatters are subject to minor air pressure changes. One example is the pressure from slamming a car door shut with all the windows up. Another example, cleaning the windshield with too much pressure from your hand.
Accident Injuries are Worse With Cracked Windshields
Studies have found that cracked windshields compromise the safety of passengers. This might seem curious but let us explain. When auto engineers designed your car, they went to great care in making sure it was safe. This is why your auto glass is created to work in harmony with the rest of your vehicle’s structure. If one part fails or is compromised, the rest of it can fail. Auto glass is created differently from window to window. Your back window, for example, is tempered glass. It is designed to shatter into tiny small spheres, so it leaves fewer lacerations to passengers in an accident. Your front windshield is laminated. What this means, you have two pieces of glass, that sandwich a piece of plastic. This glass is then put through a heating and cooling process to become stronger. In an accident, that plastic keeps the glass from breaking into large shards, which might otherwise leave you in bad shape.
There is no mistaking that even small cracks can lead to minor visual impairments. Whether they play tricks on your eyes or invite unwanted sunlight to hit you in the face, cracks are just dangerous. A shatter will also leave a blind spot in your windshield. This leads to not seeing the car at your front quarter panel, or worse, pedestrians. As responsible drivers, we should all take as many precautions as possible to avoid anything that would make driving more contentious.
Windshield Repair and Replacement
You might wonder next as to what to do if you have a damaged windshield. The process of having a windshield replaced is fairly simple. You’ll want to find a reputable company, fill them in on your windshield issues, and let them take it from there. If you have insurance, they may work with your insurer to see if your replacement or repairs are covered partially or in full.
You may opt to hire an auto glass company that has mobile services. This will allow you to have your replacement or repair done at your location. This is a courtesy service allowing you to tend to family or work obligations.
If you have a full replacement done on your vehicle and you have a newer model car, truck, or SUV, you may need a windshield recalibration. In fact, many insurers, after covering the cost of your new windshield, will require you to have this service done. So what is a windshield recalibration? Without it, you might have another dangerous situation on your hands.
There are two types of recalibration tests. One is static and uses a target at the front end of your vehicle. The other is a test done on well-painted roadways where your vehicle is taken through a series of tests. What’s most important about these tests is that they provide another layer of safety to your vehicle, and it’s all tied to a properly working and damage-free windshield. The smart features in newer cars assist with some significant safety features. This might include things like blind-spot detection, pedestrian alerts, front end collision alerts, and lane assist. When your windshield has been damaged or isn’t recalibrated, it can impact the way these features work. Another significant issue that occurs without a recalibration test your airbag systems may not work correctly.
We hope you found this helpful, and it encourages you to get your windshield repaired, replaced, and recalibrated when it’s damaged from mesawindshields.com