Windshield cracks and chips irritate every motorist, and with plenty of hazards on the road, some damage is inevitable during your car’s lifespan. However, damage to your windshield can be more than irritating. It can endanger both the driver and passenger safety.
The windshield aims to protect you from the elements on the road. For minor damages, it may not show at first, but minor damage can escalate into a major fault and put vehicle occupants at risk. From contributing to poor visibility to the risk of shattered glass falling in and injuring occupants, the dangers of a damaged windshield range from minor to deadly.
So, how do you ensure the safety of yourself and others and anticipate the potential for damage? By knowing the sources of danger. Here are 5 common causes of windshield damage.
1. Road Debris
Cars in front of you can throw up gravel, rocks, and stones. These small, hard elements travel at speed and can impact your windshield, causing the glass to chip or crack. If this happens, booking windshield repair should be your number one priority.
When driving through bumpier terrain such as gravel roads or country lanes, there is a higher chance of stones and debris flying up from the rear wheels of the car traveling in front of you.
With the high speeds at which cars travel and the number of vehicles on the road, airborne debris is the leading cause of damage.
2. Extreme Weather
An extreme change in the weather can also pose a threat. Extreme winds can cause tree branches to become unstable and fall down onto your windshield. Sudden hailstorms can lead to shattered glass and even dented metal on the body of your car.
Your windshield also can be sensitive to sudden rise or fall in temperature, which can cause the glass to contract or expand.
Unfortunately, drivers don’t help the situation. Motorists who use boiling water to defrost their windshield can cause further damage. On the flip side, on a scorching day, blasting your freezing air conditioning can cause cracks to form.
3. Poor Installation
Stress cracks become apparent when there is a structural weakness within the glass itself. You will begin to notice the fractures around the edges first, as this can be the more vulnerable location for damage.
This is due to incorrect installation. While the defects may not be immediately visible, these weak areas can turn into large cracks over time. Motorists are advised to use specialist windshield companies during installation.
4. Cheap Glass
With cars becoming more expensive to maintain, motorists may be tempted to install cheaper glass on their windshield.
When you invest in a new windshield, it’s advised to go with a reputable brand. The higher quality glass will less likely need replacing in the future.
The low-quality glass will not provide sufficient strength in the long run and may be dangerous for yourself and your passengers.
5. Collisions and Accidents
Road accidents can happen anywhere and anytime. Depending on the severity of the accident, your car’s windshield will incur some damage. If it’s a high-impact collision, it may even shatter.
Sometimes, it can be mother nature who is at fault. It’s not unusual for birds to fly into windshields and crack them.
For the unlucky car owners, a freak accident can damage your windshield. If you’re parked near a sports field or golf course, a rogue ball could navigate its way to your car.
If your windshield has been chipped, you can try to repair it yourself, but this depends on the size and location of the chip.
Any repairs should be done ASAP as chips can damage the integrity of the glass and before you know it, grow into larger cracks.
Car damage is a part of life, but when it becomes dangerous for drivers and passengers, it’s imperative to repair or replace the damaged windshield to make the vehicle safe to drive.