Today’s modern windshields are made with a type of glass that is completely different from the glass in your home. It’s a type of glass called “laminated glass” which is made up of two pieces of glass with a layer of film between them. These layers are fused together through heat and pressure, and because the windshield is made of multiple layers, it is much stronger than your average glass window.
3 Reasons Not to Drive with a Chipped Windshield
Laminated glass windshields can deal with strong winds and debris. The benefit of having layers of protection is that if a rock or other type of debris hit the windshield, a small chip or crack could form in the outer layer of the windshield. Rather than the windshield shattering into a million pieces, it only cracks the surface of the windshield, leaving you time to get it repaired quickly.
For whatever reasons, whether it be cost or insurance issues, some drivers put off repairing their windshield. They think there’s no danger since the windshield looks mostly “fine” but this isn’t the case and can end up costing you more than a new windshield in some states. You can even be ticketed for driving with a cracked windshield if it’s bad enough.
1. Driver Visibility Safety
A minor crack in the windshield can quickly spread over time. With extreme temperature changes, any additional debris striking the glass, or pressure increases from traveling can all affect a windshield crack. This is important because it is possible that a shattered windshield can significantly reduce your driver visibility safety. Having reduced driver visibility is extremely dangerous.
2. Affects Airbag Deployment
If you ever become involved in an auto accident, the airbags are immediately inflated to cushion the impact and protect passengers from suffering severe injuries. The way for an airbag to properly work, it needs to push off of the windshield so that it can shift toward the passenger. When the windshield is damaged or cracked, this could prevent the airbag from deploying properly and working the way it should.
3. Lack of Structural Strength
As described above, the windshield is a crucial part of your vehicle’s frame. When there’s a collision, the impact can shift to another part of the car and having a windshield provides a reduction in impact, which can protect or lessen the damage to the vehicle and its passengers. But if the windshield is already cracked or damaged, it is more likely to break or shatter and not give the expected impact shift. It’s the same concept during a rollover accident. If the strength of the windshield is already compromised, the roof could easily cave in.
Overall, when you think about why you shouldn’t drive with a cracked windshield, it all boils down to safety for yourself, your passengers, and the drivers around you.