Windshields are like proverbial guardian angels that always watch over us, protecting both drivers and passengers from the elements. However, these convenient automotive parts are rarely given the credit they deserve. Often, windshield care is neglected, which then leads to compiling amounts of financial stress from repairs, insurance claims, and even unfortunate accidents due to poor road visibility.
In this list, we’ll explore five useful things you might not know about windshields, some of which may come in handy during your daily commute.
Damaged windshields compose the majority of insurance claims in North America
Did you know that windshields are actually the number one insurance claim in the United States and Canada? It might sound hard to believe, but cracked windshields compose more than a quarter of all insurance-related requests – much more than major or minor mishaps like crashes or fender-benders. Small fissures known as “edge cracks” account for no less than 80 percent of replacement claims. These fractures occur due to common factory defects such as residual stresses, which create weak spots on the windshield that can be easily chipped by a wayward piece of gravel or a flying pebble.
Windshields provide added support to a car’s roof
As a safety precursor, most modern windshields and windows have been created to reinforce your vehicle’s rooftop. Without the strengthening influence of your windshield, the car’s roof and sidings will easily collapse on its occupants, especially during a disastrous car accident. During grievous incidents such as vehicular rollovers, the windshield not only protects the driver and passengers from flying debris, it also keeps them from being further harmed by an inwardly crumbling roof.
Tinted windshields add an extra layer of protection
Not only do tinted windshields look stylish, they also give your car an increased level of safety, protecting your skin and eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Aside from this, normal glass can suffer wear and tear from various sources such as sunlight, rain, and snow. A tinted surface can prolong the lifespan of your windshield and creates an outer barrier that will lessen the impact of flying rocks and other small bits and pieces.
Windshield glass is different from the side and rear windows
Modern windshields, unlike the rest of your car’s windows, are made using a lamination process. In a nutshell, this means that it is constructed using two pieces of glass with a slim film of vinyl placed between them. Using heat and pressure, these parts are then laminated inside a manufacturing oven known as an autoclave, which fuses them into an absurdly strong mirror. During severe collisions, the inner vinyl lining prevents the shattered glass from flying into different directions and causing further injuries.
Windshields, just like smartphones, are getting more sophisticated
The constant improvement of auto-glass maintenance systems has made repairing windshield damage easier, faster, and more cost-effective. In the future, not only will manufacturers be able to produce UV-ray filters, they’ll also be able to incorporate touch-screen features to your car. The advent of cutting-edge smart cars from companies like Tesla means that peripheral instruments such as windshields will also improve by leaps and bounds. So, if you’re dreaming of a Blade Runner-esque future where you’ll be able to view maps and other graphics from the comfort of your own driver’s seat, you may not have to wait for long. It’s almost around the corner.