Your car’s windshield is essential to keeping you safe when you are behind the wheel. Windshields crack for a variety of reasons, but the main cause of windshield damage is blunt force. A rock or other flying debris can cause a windshield to chip or crack easily.
Driving with a cracked or chipped windshield can be dangerous. Your visibility is obscured when behind the wheel of a cracked windshield, making you a potential risk to other drivers on the road. Furthermore, a cracked or chipped windshield is exposed and more prone to shattering, especially if you get into a car accident.
The way you drive can actually make your windshield more likely to get cracked or chipped. Learn how your driving behavior is doing more harm than good to your windshield.
Driving Too Fast on Gravel
Gravel and loose dirt roads are not tightly packed the way concrete and cement roadways are, which means these types of road materials can cause vehicles in front of you to fling debris up, which can cause a cracked windshield. Driving too fast on gravel or dirt roads increases the odds of a rock or other type of debris to cause more damage to your windshield.
While you cannot entirely prevent any type of windshield damage, slowing down on gravelly roads can help keep flinging rocks to a minimum. You should also drive slower on unpacked roadways because you have less traction under your car’s tires, which can cause you to slide out of control on a turn or when changing lanes.
Following Other Drivers Too Closely
Not only do you risk hitting another car if you follow other drivers too closely, but you also risk having debris getting kicked up onto your windshield from the cars in front of you. For example, following a large rig too closely, especially a semi, dump truck or harvest vehicle carrying loads of produce or equipment, can be dangerous to your vehicle and your windshield.
The best way to protect your windshield when driving in traffic is to stay many car lengths behind other vehicles so flying rocks and debris are less likely to hit your car. Use the current weather, traffic amount, and time of day to help you determine how many car lengths you should stay away from other drivers. During winter and at night, roadways can be harder to navigate, so increase your distance from other cars during these times.
Driving too fast, plowing your car into mud puddles, stopping suddenly, and not paying attention to road signs can all have dangerous repercussions on your health and affect you legally. However, these practices can damage your windshield as well, even if you never get into a wreck. Take a defensive driving course to learn how to drive more responsibly so you don’t inadvertently damage your windshield.
Ways to avoid reckless driving include:
- Driving at posted speed signs (or just under)s
- Avoiding drivers who appear to be inattentive on the road
- Steering clear of hazardous roadways
As always, if you see a small chip or crack in your windshield, call your auto glass technician right away. A tiny chip can quickly grow into a large crack that can obscure your vision and become difficult to treat. If you ignore windshield repair needs long enough, you will have to get your windshield replaced.
The right auto glass technician will be able to stop small cracks and chips from getting worse and will allow your windshield to be much more durable and safe. In many cases, your auto insurance will assist in paying for windshield replacement and care.
Make an appointment with our helpful staff at Aaron Auto Glass for all your windshield needs. We offer swift and reliable service regarding windshield repair and replacement.