The Dangers of Driving With a Cracked Windshield
The number one blemish every auto glass repair company has to deal with is a cracked windshield. In fact, windshield damage is the number one automotive insurance claim in the U.S., accounting for 30% of all vehicle-related insurance claims. However, there are still plenty of drivers who avoid providing their car with the professional windshield repair or replacement work necessary to navigate safely on the road.
Whether it’s due to trying to evade repair costs or worrying about how it will affect their automotive insurance, the truth is that ignoring a cracked windshield is not only an extreme safety hazard for yourself; You could also be putting other drivers on the road at jeopardy as well.
From impaired vision to possibly needing full-on windshield replacement services, here are a few of the most prominent dangers of driving with a cracked windshield...
First things first, no matter where the location of your windshield crack is, it’s already reducing your overall perception of the road. Then, when you start to throw in various other road conditions such as sunlight, rain, or heavy traffic, now you’ve essentially doubled your lack of sight on the road ahead.
The average driver has a reaction time hovering around one second, which means every second you don’t see something on the road due to a cracked windshield, your reaction time for braking or swerving out of the way drastically increases.
In addition to being your window for seeing the open road, the primary function of any windshield is to serve as a barrier between a wide variety of exterior elements. A windshield crack, no matter how minor it may appear to be, decreases the overall strength and structural integrity of your windshield, leaving it more susceptible to shattering in the event of contact with varying forms of debris ranging from hail storms to highway gravel.
Windshields are also a last resort safety feature in the event of a collision, helping prevent passengers from being ejected from the vehicle in a worse-case scenario crash. The more cracks your windshield has endured, the less likely it’ll maintain structural integrity after an accident, as well as provide sufficient support for your car roof, leaving it susceptible to collapsing.
It’s easy to look at one crack in a windshield and think, “not so bad.” But what many drivers fail to understand is how quickly and efficiently one windshield crack can spread and expand. This can be caused from exterior factors such as moisture, temperature, sunlight, and constant shock absorption from bumps and holes in the road. All of that stress upon the crack will weaken all of the surrounding glass, ultimately causing the crack to expand, which if unattended can inevitably lead to full-on windshield shattering.
Ineffective Airbag Deployment
For many vehicles, having a windshield completely intact allows for the successful deployment of passenger-side airbags. This is because the windshield serves as a form of support to correctly initiate and inflate the airbag directly at the passenger.
When a crack diminishes a windshield’s structural integrity, the airbag can be deployed in ineffective directions upon impact, serving as a major driving risk and potentially leading to significant injuries sustained.
General Safety of Others
Impaired vision, shattered glass, insufficient airbag deployment; even if all of these driving hazards don’t seem potentially dangerous to you, what about everyone else you share the road with?
In many states across the country, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle with a cracked windshield, and could lead to a hefty fine. So why risk all of these safety and legal hazards just to try and save a few bucks?
Get the Auto Glass Repair Care Your Vehicle Deserves
A cracked windshield is only going to get worse and come back to haunt you the longer you refrain from repairing it. When you need professional windshield repair and replacement solutions, Prime Windshields is here to help!
Our team of auto glass experts will only recommend the services you and your vehicle need to get back on the road in no time. Contact us online today to get started on a free quote, or give us a call now at 480-618-5888 for service in the East Valley area or 602-688-7700 for all Phoenix-based inquiries.