Sudden storms present a real danger when you’re driving, particularly for your windshield. Unfortunately, many storm factors may cause chips and cracks, which can be dangerous. For example, studies have found that windshields provide up to 30 percent of your vehicle’s structural strength, so a compromise here could be a problem if you don’t get them fixed.
Hail and Ice May Create Chips
Rain, no matter how hard it falls, is not likely to chip or crack your windshield. Water doesn’t have that kind of weight or density. However, frozen water — such as hail or even ice chunks — could easily cause a chip. Though the risk of a crack forming from nothing isn’t too high, a chip from a hailstone could quickly turn into cracks if struck by another hailstone.
And while hail and ice storms are more likely in the winter, sudden temperature and pressure changes in a storm could cause hail even in the summer. So never assume that you’re safe from this problem just because it’s July or August.
Sudden Changes in Temperature
Storm conditions often trigger sudden changes in temperature that may be problematic for your windshield. For example, a hot interior could heat the windshield before the storm forces the temperature down. At this point, the contrast between the warm and the cold could cause the windshield to become brittle or even make it chip or crack.
And if your windshield already has a chip, cold conditions increase the windshield’s chances of cracking. For example, temperatures of 32° Fahrenheit increase the possibility of a crack by 60 percent while temperatures of 14° Fahrenheit increase crack risk by 80 percent. As a result, any chips you experience due to temperature changes require immediate fixes.
Erratic Storm Driving
When you drive in a storm, your visibility may drastically decrease. For example, torrential rains can heavily reduce visibility while snow, rain, and hail may cause your car to slip on the road. And though you may not crash or get into any seriously dangerous situation in these conditions, erratic driving could still cause a chip in your windshield that needs a professional to manage.
For example, your tires may drag in the snow and hit a pothole that shakes your windshield and causes cracks. Even worse, you may bump into a parked vehicle or another obstacle and cause your windshield to rattle even more. As a result, you need to drive very carefully in a storm and, if necessary, pull over to the side of the road in a protected area to wait out the adverse conditions.
Heavy Winds Also Cause Chips
Many storms produce very high-volume winds that may be dangerous and unpredictable. For example, tornado-force winds could shake your windshield very heavily and cause cracks and chips across the surface. Even lower-intensity — but still potent — winds could cause this type of damage if particles slam against the surface of your car as you drive.
This issue can be hard to avoid if you suddenly find yourself trapped in a storm with intense winds. Try to pull off the road and park somewhere protected from the wind. For example, you could park near a garage or a building that faces the wind to keep debris and wind pressure from your glass. And when possible, pay attention to the weather forecast to know when wind of this intensity is likely.
Professional Help Improves Vehicle Recovery
If your windshield suffers a chip during a storm and you want to ensure you don’t get a crack, don’t hesitate to contact us at Aaron Auto Glass right away to learn more. Our professionals will assess the chip on your windshield, come up with a treatment solution, and adequately and effectively implement each repair.