From truck drivers to deliverymen and repairmen, from bus and tour operators to commuters, there are many thousands of people whose job involves driving. Every day in America, hundreds of vehicle windshields are cracked. Rocks fly up from the roadway, a tree branch falls on a windshield, and minor fender benders are just some of the causes for this inconvenient type of damage to your car. The seriousness of the damage may require immediate windshield replacement before it is safe or legal to drive your car.
Your Windshield Protects You
The NHTSA states that once the integrity of your windshield has been compromised, the safety of driver and passengers is at risk. You are protected from injury every day, as your windshield deflects airborne items, rocks, birds, and other pieces of debris that are tossed into the air by the tires of another vehicle or during a storm. Your windshield also protects you and your passengers from the elements. It’s essential to the success of your vehicle’s supplemental restraint system (SRS), your airbags. A damaged windshield can defeat the safety purpose of your airbag, reducing or eliminating its ability to protect you from serious injury.
What to Do When Your Windshield Is Damaged
Turn to a professional installer. According to Lloyd’s Auto Glass of Fort Walton, what starts out as a small crack in your windshield could quickly turn into a more seriousproblem. Temperature changes and weather can cause a crack to increase in size rapidly. It’s important to have a professional windshield installation for a number of reasons, including roof safety, and insurance requirements.
An improperly installed windshield can cause a host of problems in the event of an accident, especially in a rollover scenario. The windshield is a major part of the car roof support system and helps to keep water and debris from entering the vehicle. Too often people aren’t concerned with the integrity of their automobile windshield and may even purchase a used one from a junkyard to self-install. Don’t try and install a windshield yourself, there are too many sensitive associated issues involved, including the driver side airbag.
Perform a Regular Windshield Checkup
We regularly check our tires for tread safety, but we often forget to check the windshield unless it starts leaking water during a downpour. There can be windshield damage that is not immediately obvious, and a regular check of all the car’s glass is important.
- Inside and out, your windshield must be checked for chips and cracks. Depending on location, some small chips or cracks may be repairable.
- Large chips and cracks will require professional windshield replacement.
- Check to see if there is any body damage around the edges of the glass that can affect the seal and possibly weakening the structural integrity.
- Frequently check your windshield wipers and be sure they are soft, pliable, and undamaged. When wipers age they become brittle and may cause the wiper arm to scratch the windshield.
The integrity of the windshield is an important safety issue relating both to the strength of the roof and the proper installation of airbags. Don’t risk your safety and that of family and friends by overlooking the importance of windshield safety.