Windshields are a very important part of your car. Not only do they provide a physical barrier between you and the road, but they also are a vital part of your car’s structural integrity. A cracked windshield does more than reduce your visibility, and, if left alone, can do significant damage to your car.
Windshield repair and replacement can be an unwanted surprise cost at the end of a drive. To avoid a damaged windshield and to keep the money in your pocket instead, follow these three steps.
1. Check the Road
Rocks and debris propelled into the air by the car in front of you can easily crack your windshield. Gravel roads and construction zones offer an extra opportunity for windshield damage.
While driving, check the road in front of you for any loose debris. Even the smallest rock can crack or chip your windshield, so stay aware as you drive. When possible, avoid construction zones. Orange cones block off the main area of construction projects, but debris often extends beyond the cone area.
Be careful while driving on gravel roads. With loose rocks across the entire road, there is ample opportunity for a piece of gravel to hit your windshield.
2. Notice the Car Ahead of You
Certain types of vehicles kick up more debris than others. Because of this, you should avoid driving behind a semi-truck when possible.
Semis often have double or triple wheels. With extra surface area, these wheels kick up more rocks than a typical car. Because of this danger, it is regulation for semis to have mud flaps. Their job is to provide a barrier to block debris. However, all semis do not have mud flaps, or the ones they have are damaged or torn.
Besides avoiding semis, you should also avoid tailgating the car in front of you. Not only is this dangerous, but it increases the likelihood of a crack in your windshield. Rocks kicked up by cars travel in an arc. If you drive far enough behind, the rock will have a chance to bounce and slow down before hitting your vehicle. However, being too close means the rock will hit your windshield at full speed, chipping or cracking the glass.
3. Defend Against Weather
Rocks aren’t the only things that can hurt your windshield. Abrupt changes in temperature can crack your windshield as the glass expands and contracts with the heat. When using the heater, warm your car slowly to avoid cracking the glass.
Another way to avoid temperature change is to park in the shade. Cars heat up quickly when they sit in the sun. By parking in the shade, you can avoid this change of temperature while also coming back to a cooler car.
Other types of weather can also be dangerous to your windshield. Hailstorms pose a high risk because the hailstones hit your car at a high speed. If you are stuck driving in one, drive slowly to reduce the likelihood of windshield damage.
You can never completely mitigate the risk of a damaged windshield, but if you drive carefully, you can reduce the likelihood of a chip or crack. Avoid rocks and debris on the road that could be kicked up by cars in front of you. Keep your distance from semi-trucks, which may not have mud flaps to protect your vehicle.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather so you can keep your car safe. If you do end up with a damaged windshield, get it fixed quickly. Windshield repair is much cheaper than replacement, so talk to a professional as soon you can.
At Horizon Auto Glass & Tint, we use our 20 years of experience to replace or repair your windshield so it looks good as new. We also offer restoration and paint protection services along with window tinting. Schedule an appointment today to get your windshield checked or repaired.