If asked what part of your car plays the most important role in keeping you safe, would you know the answer? Most people actually do not know the answer to this question, but it is in fact your windshield. Many people think that windshield cracks are nothing more than an annoyance and that ignoring windshield cracks is not a problem as long as they are not in the driver’s line of vision. However, any cracks in the windshield can cause it to fail at a time when you need it the most.
Why is a windshield so important?
Windshields actually have three vital roles in automotive safety. The first and the most obvious is to prevent passengers from being ejected from the car in the case of an accident. The second function of a windshield is to help absorb the impact that is caused by the airbag release. In an accident, airbags are released at a high speed and a crack in a windshield can keep the windshield from properly absorbing the shock. The third function of a windshield is to provide support for the roof. Studies have concluded that windshields actually provide 70 percent of a car’s structural support. A crack may cause it to crumble during a rollover rather than maintain support.
How can windshields crack?
The main cause of windshield cracks are from small pieces of flying debris. This can occur if you are tailgating another car or if you are driving behind a dump truck or construction truck. You should avoid parking on the side of the road; there are less flying rocks and sand in parking lots. Also, metal ice scrapers can cause windshield chips and cracks; use plastic ones instead. Why should I fix windshield cracks? Aside from the fact that a crack in a windshield can comprise the safety of your vehicle, fixing a crack is much easier and cheaper than replacing an entire windshield. A crack can very easily expand and become unfixable, especially in the winter when the continuous drastic temperature changes of the windshield can cause a crack to expand. Once a crack is in the driver’s line of vision, the law requires the entire windshield to be replaced. This costs about $500.
It’s crazy to allow that to happen when you can fix the crack for much cheaper. Cracks are so easy to fix that you can even fix them yourself. About 1 in 100 cars receive a repairable windshield crack each day. If you happen to own one of these cars, be sure to get it fixed. It will help save you money as well as your safety!