You return to your parked car and suddenly notice that a small stone, probably kicked up by another passing vehicle, has damaged your windshield. Equally, this might happen when you’re actually driving around the Birmingham area!
If it’s a small crack, you might be tempted to let it be and hope for the best. Unfortunately, this can often lead to more issues further down the line. Let’s look at four common dangers from ignoring damage to your windshield.
Leaving a crack unattended leads to debris accumulating on your windshield. Over time, this can embed into the crack, rendering it impossible to fully clean when experts are getting ready to repair it. Not attending to repairs quickly means that, where initially a resin could have been used to resolve the crack, you now need the entire windshield replacing, which will cost you more money.
Over time, cracks will widen on their own, which is usually caused by the varying effects of our climate. Fluctuating temperatures, especially if they rise or fall quite suddenly, will cause the glass to marginally expand and contract.
Other times, cracks get worse due to our own actions, such as slamming car doors (what kid doesn’t do this?). This alters interior pressure and sends vibrations, potentially causing your cracked windshield to shatter.
Having an auto accident is traumatic at any time. However, a cracked windshield can make things worse. It provides support for the roof; cars flipping over in an accident will lose that vital safety feature, which means the roof will be more likely to cave in.
Of course, any prior damage will also mean the windshield is more likely to shatter; this can have catastrophic outcomes. Another possibility is that passengers, especially if not wearing their seat belts, could actually be thrown right out through the front of the vehicle.
Internally, in a crash situation, you are relying on your airbags. The windshield acts as a barrier to the bag as it deploys, directing the inflation back towards the passenger. Should the windshield shatter, then this action is rendered less effective.
Even if you are confident of local law, be aware that different states have their own regulations about windshield cracks. Nobody wants to be ticketed or receive a fine, so having the damage repaired quickly, and by experienced professionals, is a very wise choice.
Apart from the reasons already mentioned, many windshield cracks are positioned where they impair the clear vision of the driver. Trying to see around damage affects concentration and attention, which makes it more likely that you’ll be involved in an accident.