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Your windshield is an essential part of your vehicle, protecting you from debris and providing clear visibility while driving. However, it is also one of the most commonly damaged parts of a vehicle, often due to factors like weather, road conditions, and accidents.
If you notice a crack or chip in your windshield, it’s important to address it promptly to ensure your safety and avoid more significant and costly repairs in the future. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of regular windshield maintenance and how to determine if your windshield can be repaired or needs to be replaced.
Causes of Windshield Damage
There are many factors that can cause damage to your windshield. For example, a piece of debris falling off a truck or caught under a tire’s treading can fly towards your windshield and cause a crack or chip. Even weather conditions can cause damage, such as pouring hot water on a frozen windshield or exposing it to powerful air conditioning on a hot summer day.
Ignoring a damaged windshield is not recommended, as it can worsen over time and even become a safety hazard. For example, a hailstorm can cause a crack in the windshield, which can grow over time and compromise the structural integrity of the windshield, making it more susceptible to shattering in an accident.
Repair or Replace?
If you notice damage to your windshield, you may wonder if it can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced. Auto glass companies look at three main factors to determine if the damage can be repaired: location, length, and depth of the crack or chip.
The damage should not be in the driver’s line of vision, in front of a camera or sensor, or around the edges of the windshield, as these factors can compromise the integrity of the windshield. The length of the crack should not exceed the length of a dollar bill, and the chip’s diameter should not be larger than a quarter. The damage should not penetrate or create a hole in the windshield.
If the damage meets these criteria, an auto glass company can typically repair up to three chips or a chip/crack combo that is less than the size of a dollar bill. When in doubt, consult an auto glass technician to determine if the damage can be repaired or if the windshield needs to be replaced.
Importance of Early Action
Driving with a damaged windshield can be illegal in some states and is always a safety issue. A cracked windshield is not as structurally stable as an intact one, and the longer you wait to repair the damage, the more significant and costly the repair or replacement may become.
Regular maintenance and early action are key to ensuring your safety and avoiding more significant repairs in the future. Ignoring minor damage can result in the need for a complete windshield replacement, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
Fleet and risk managers should review their insurance policies to ensure they include the “no deductible” wording for windshield repairs. Remind drivers that windshield repair is an inexpensive option that can be scheduled around their workday. Reporting windshield damage to your broker can help you understand your glass coverage and report it to the carrier. The carrier’s glass unit will reach out to the driver to confirm the details of the damage and make an appointment for repair at a convenient time.
Your windshield is an essential safety feature of your vehicle. Regular maintenance and early action can help you avoid more significant repairs and ensure your safety while driving. If you notice damage to your windshield, consult an auto glass technician to determine if it can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Remember to review your insurance policy to ensure it covers windshield repairs with no deductible.