A windshield is designed to withstand all of the elements of Mother Nature. Since the very first windshields that were made of window glass, the industry has continued to evolve and produce better variations of windshields and auto glass that provide additional safety, convenience, and strength to a vehicle. This is done for several reasons, with primary consideration for the safety and protection of the driver from wind, precipitation, debris, UV rays, and accidents. Enhancements that provide these benefits in many cases would have been non-existent or less effective just a few decades ago.
A windshield is designed to protect you, but it, unfortunately, will take a beating in the process. At some point or another, a windshield will suffer damage significant enough to create a chip, crack or fissure in the glass. This can be the beginning of a gradual process that results in the entire windshield being compromised, which eliminates its life-saving effectiveness. With damage to the windshield, it can be a matter of days or months before the damage spreads. There are several known culprits that can exacerbate the damage before you have the necessary repairs performed; we’ll discuss these elements below. Many of these elements will cause damage beyond repair and require a windshield replacement.
The primary consideration of a windshield for many is the deflection of air, as you may often cruise at speeds strong enough for winds to feel like a tropical storm. Whenever there is damage to a windshield, wind can create conditions conducive to damage acceleration by forcing itself into the nooks and crannies of the damage. This can speed up overall fracturing and chipping, which destroys the structural integrity of the surrounding glass. One of the most important reasons why you should not drive when you have damage to the windshield, the wind’s powerful forces are a true match for any damaged windshield.
Various forms of precipitation are a common concern when on the road, but snow can be deleterious when you have damage to the windshield. Due to the friction from the wind as you drive, the snow has a tendency to melt. Whenever you start your car, there may be frozen moisture in the cracks of the chip that has expanded. As you drive, this will melt but can often re-freeze after a short commute and in cold conditions. This constant expansion and contraction within the damaged area works to undermine the strength of the windshield and creates conditions for more cracks to emerge.
The wind as you drive can be damaging to an already compromised windshield, but dust carried along with it presents an added effect. Fine, gritty particles are in the air all around us but are much more forceful when you are moving at speeds of several dozen miles per hour. This consistent contact of dust with your windshield will ultimately result in some particles making direct contact with the damaged area. This abrasive scenario combined with wind can further speed up the process of damage to your windshield according to GlassBYTEs, which may result in a complete windshield replacement being needed.
Vibrations are another consideration when it comes to auto glass and existing damage. As your windshield is designed to provide strength in the event of a roll-over, it obviously absorbs shock and reinforces the surrounding areas of the vehicle. The consistent vibrations from potholes and other rough road surfaces can cause a fracture or crack to instantly expand when you least expect it. One bumpy turn onto a highway and your automobile’s windshield repair job just became a windshield replacement job. For those without comprehensive auto insurance, the difference between the two can be hundreds of dollars.
It would seem that one bad windshield incident would be enough, but you can never be too sure. Small rocks, pebbles, or other forms of debris may find their way in the path of your windshield while it is still damaged, which is a huge risk to your personal safety. If an object makes close contact with the damaged area, it may be enough to completely compromise the windshield or shatter it. Such an event on the open road can create complete chaos in the immediate aftermath, making it more likely for a series of events to unfold that could prove fatal. In most cases, however, any debris that comes into contact with a damaged windshield merely exacerbates the problem and may result in a replacement.
When you drive with a damaged windshield, you put yourself at an increased risk of injury or harm while on the road. A variety of natural and man-made elements can prove hazardous to your windshield and exacerbate damage, so it is important to have your windshield repaired as soon as you notice the damage. In most cases, the auto repair technician will come to your location to perform the repairs. There is no need to be the victim of a preventable accident; by repairing your windshield promptly, you guarantee safety and convenience on so many levels while behind the wheel and will save money in the long-run.