Thirty percent of all auto insurance claims in the United States happen because of broken windshields. Vehicle safety relies on a complete and undamaged windshield for protection during an accident and also so the driver has an unobstructed view. While preventing every broken windshield is likely impossible, drivers can take steps to reduce the chance of a chip or crack.
- Stay Away From Loaded Trucks
Construction vehicles are often a source of trouble for all vehicle owners driving behind them. Any truck with a load of dirt or gravel puts the vehicles behind them at risk. Of course, work trucks carry not only gravel but also tools, equipment, and many other items that can easily slip out of an unsecured truck bed.
Many cracks happen due to rocks flying from the truck or going off the roadway from vehicle tires. Large trucks often have dual wheels rather than the single rear wheels of passenger vehicles. The extra wheels mean double the risk of the tires picking up a rock.
- Be Careful on Dirt Roads
Avoid gravel roads when possible because of the abundance of potential projectiles. If on a gravel road, stay as far back as possible from other vehicles. Drivers also need to remember to watch their own speed as well. A driver moving fast enough to spin up rocks could also launch one that hits their own vehicle.
- Prepare for Hailstorms
Get the vehicle under cover whenever a summer storm could include hail. A carport or garage is the most secure option, but other safe alternatives exist if these shelters are not available. A car cover or blankets will also offer protection for the vehicle. Spread the items out to protect the side and rear windows as well.
Look for an underpass if hail begins while driving. Make certain to pull off the road far enough to not become a danger to other motorists. Avoid the temptation to park under trees because a storm strong enough to produce hail could also include wind that knocks down branches.
A parked car at work or elsewhere away from home can still have some protection. Consider using all available floor mats to cover the windshield. Cover the rear window too if the vehicle has an adequate amount of floor mats.
- Drive With Safety in Mind
Many broken windshields happen because of auto accidents. Drive carefully, avoid distractions while driving like texting or eating, and maintain vehicles well to prevent wrecks due to a mechanical failure.
Drivers have two other safety precautions they can take that can lower accident risk and reduce the risk of a chipped windshield. Never tailgate any vehicle, and always drive the speed limit. Slower speeds reduce the impact of a stone when it hits a windshield. Distance between vehicles lets the driver potentially dodge oncoming projectiles safely.
- Select a Different Route
Less-traveled roads have fewer vehicles kicking up road debris that could lead to a windshield chip and a smaller risk of accidents than busy highways. Obviously, an accident can take place anywhere, but drivers have much less to look out for when the number of other drivers drops.
Also, avoid any routes where active road construction is taking place. The repairs increase the potential for damage when a high number of construction vehicles are around. Construction efforts also mean more debris on the road from the work.
Many vehicle designs rely on a strong windshield to help with airbag deployment. An accident with a windshield that already includes a crack could lead to more injuries than it would otherwise. At Aaron Auto Glass, we can help to secure a chip to prevent further damage or replace a windshield if needed. Contact us today for more information.