A small crack in your windshield may seem like a minor problem, but it could be the beginning of a more serious one. In fact, windshield cracks are one of the most important auto repairs to address as soon as possible for the safety of yourself and your passengers. Here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to fix a cracked windshield.
1. A Cracked Windshield Isn’t Safe
Your windshield is one of the most important parts of your vehicle that reduces the risk of injury in the event of a front-on collision. The windshield transfers the force of the crash into the chassis of the vehicle instead of the interior. A cracked windshield that shatters during a collision poses a great risk of injury and increases the risk of ejection during the accident.
The windshield of a vehicle plays an important safety role in other types of auto accidents as well. In a rollover accident, the windshield supports the roof of a vehicle. A cracked windshield can break and allow the roof to cave in. The windshield also helps the passenger side airbag to deploy correctly, as it may deploy through the windshield opening instead if the windshield shatters.
2. Windshield Cracks Will Spread
The longer you drive your vehicle without fixing a chip or crack in the windshield, the more likely it is that the damage will spread. The main factor that causes cracks to spread is exposure to the elements while your vehicle is on the road. Dirt and moisture can infiltrate the layers of glass and vinyl in your windshield to weaken its structural integrity and cause the crack to expand over time.
Sunlight and heat also play a part in causing windshield cracks to spread. The interior of your vehicle will heat up faster than the outside, and the temperature differential can create pressure on the windshield that causes cracks to spread. Cracks can also spread when you drive over bumps, potholes, or even step on your brakes too quickly, as these actions can cause mechanical vibrations in your windshield.
3. Small Cracks are Cheaper to Fix
No one wants to pay more than they have to for auto repair. While different auto glass shops will charge different rates for the same repairs, the size of the cracks or chips in your windshield will always play a part in how much you pay. The more extensive the damage is, the more labor will be required to fix it; with prices increasing up to the point that the entire windshield must be replaced.
4. Cracked Windshields are Often Illegal
In addition to the safety risks and repair expenses posed by a cracked windshield, windshield damage could put you in legal trouble as well. In many states, driving with a damaged windshield is illegal. Cracks pose a distraction and can obstruct the view of the driver if they spread over enough of the windshield. Thus, legislation against driving with a cracked windshield is also concerned with the safety risk to passengers.
Depending on where you live, you may be legally entitled to have the cost of your windshield repairs covered by insurance. Some states require insurers to pay for repairs so that drivers are not prohibited from following the law due to the cost. Your Department of Motor Vehicles can inform you whether this is the case in your state.
The risks of a cracked windshield are greater than many drivers realize. Take a proactive approach to repair your windshield, as this is the best option for your safety and your wallet. If your windshield is damaged, contact us at Aaron Auto Glass for the highest quality repair or replacement!