A broken windshield can be annoying, but it is actually more dangerous than anything. If you've been putting off that needed repair, check out these four facts you need to know about a damaged windshield.
Damage Affects the Strength
You may not realize it, but the windshield provides additional security while driving. This may not seem like it makes sense because the windshield is made from glass, which is known to be fragile. However, your car's windshield isn't made from the same glass as a picture frame or even the windows in your home. It is made with two layers of tempered glass. A sheet of resin is placed between the two layers of tempered glass. This keeps the glass together as one piece even if it is shattered. The pieces of glass stay stuck together instead of hitting you, causing injury or death.
Unfortunately, a damaged windshield may affect the strength of the tempered glass. If a crack or ding appears in your windshield, it may damage the sheet of resin that holds the glass together. Upon impact, the resin could fail, allowing glass to fly in and hit you. Even worse, a damaged windshield is weakened and could allow someone to be thrown through the windshield in an accident.
Some Damage Can Be Repaired
If you have major damage, yes, getting a total replacement is your best option. However, for smaller dings and cracks, you may simply be able to repair them, regaining the structural integrity of the windshield without having to pay for a new one. Whether you can have the damage repaired largely depends on two factors: the size and the location. The damage needs to be small to be repaired. Typically, the chip must be no bigger than one inch wide, and a crack should not be longer than three inches. Anything larger may not be effectively repaired.
Even if the damage is repaired, it isn't flawless. There is still often a small warped area on your windshield. While this doesn't affect the strength, it does affect your vision. Therefore, if a crack or chip is right in your line of vision, it is usually better to have the windshield replaced. If you simply repair the damage, it could affect your view and increase your risk of accident.
You May Be Breaking the Law
It's not only the warp of a repair that can affect your vision. If you do have a crack or chip in your line of vision, it makes seeing other cars, pedestrians and animals difficult to see. In some states, it is actually illegal to drive a car that has damage in the viewing area of the window. The viewing area is usually any surface touched by the wipers.
Exact laws vary from state to state, so make sure you aren't breaking the law in your state. Even if the damage isn't in your line of vision, the state may still feel that you are a danger on the road because your windshield is weakened.
You May Not Have to Pay for It
One reason people put off fixing their windshield is because of the money. Whether you're getting a repair or a total replacement, it costs money, and if your broken windshield hasn't caused you any problems yet, it's even easier to push the repair aside. In some cases, your insurance will pay for it, but if you have to pay a deductible first, that may completely cover the cost of the windshield, making insurance useless.
However, in some states, especially those that require you fix damaged windshields, your deductible may be waived. This makes getting a new windshield completely affordable because the insurance pays for the whole thing.
If you have a damaged windshield, don't wait another moment. You could be putting your life or the lives of others at risk. For more information regarding windshield repair or replacement, contact an auto repair company like Fix N Go Auto in your area.