No matter where you find yourself when your windshield shatters into tiny pieces of glass, there are steps you can take to stay safe and protect yourself from any potential injuries.
1. Pull Over to a Safe Place Immediately
If your windshield cracks while you’re driving, the first and most important step is to stay calm. Panicking can worsen the situation and potentially lead to an accident. Take a deep breath and focus on maintaining control of your vehicle. Your next priority is to find a safe place to pull over. This doesn’t necessarily mean stopping immediately if you’re in a location where pulling over could be dangerous, like on a busy highway or a narrow road with no shoulder.
If a safe spot to stop isn’t immediately available, continue driving cautiously, but keep a vigilant eye out for a suitable place to pull over in the near future. Look for areas such as parking lots, side streets, or wide road shoulders. A bus stop or gas station can be a temporary safe haven to assess your situation.
While you’re looking for a place to stop, reduce your speed and increase your following distance from other vehicles. A cracked windshield can impair your visibility, especially if the crack is in your line of sight. Be extra mindful of your surroundings and avoid sudden lane changes or maneuvers.
Once you find a safe spot to pull over, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers that you are stopping. Carefully maneuver your vehicle to the chosen spot and gently stop it. After stopping, turn off your engine to prevent additional windshield stress.
Now that you’re safely parked take a moment to inspect the crack from inside the car. Determine if it’s safe to drive to a nearby auto glass repair shop or if you need to call for roadside assistance. If the crack is small and not directly in your line of sight, you may be able to drive carefully to a repair facility. However, if the crack is large, obstructing your view, or spreading quickly, it’s safer to call for professional help.
2. Look For Repair Services
There are still options if you’re on the road and the chip is too small for a repair kit to fix. Some auto glass shops offer mobile chip repair, which means they come to you instead of making you drive into the shop. The cost of this service can vary, but it can be less expensive than having your windshield replaced completely. Fortunately, there are now several ways you can have your windshield repaired quickly and easily:
Have it fixed in person – You can have an auto glass technician come to your location and perform the work on-site. This option is great for those who don’t want to miss out on any time behind the wheel of their vehicle by having someone else do the repairs for them. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, ask if there are any locations nearby where they offer same-day service and book an appointment ahead of time so that there aren’t any delays once it’s time for repairs.
Get quotes over the phone – Many reputable auto glass shops offer free estimates over the phone before sending technicians out into their neighborhoods; however, be sure not only does this option work best for people with busy schedules but also consider whether or not these companies will charge higher prices just because they didn’t meet face-to-face first! Also, remember that some technicians may require personal contact information before offering estimates (but again—this depends largely upon which specific company one uses).
3. Be Prepared in Case of Future Cracks and Chips
If you notice a chip or crack in your windshield, don’t panic. First, check your insurance policy to see if the damage is covered under your comprehensive coverage. If it’s not, make sure you understand the deductible amount and whether or not that applies to windshield repair costs.
You may also wish to ask for referrals from friends who have recently had their cars serviced at reputable shops/companies before choosing a place for yourself. Finally, take note of how long it takes them (and how much hassle) from start to finish—and compare that experience with other places too!