Owning a car is a lot of responsibility. You have to change the oil, keep the tires rotated and a host of other mechanical repairs in order to keep your car in driveable condition. Sometimes, when vehicle owners are presented with a seemingly minor cosmetic issue, like a cracked or chipped windshield, they tend to overlook it since it doesn't necessarily play a part in their vehicle's function. However, a cracked windshield is something that does deserve your attention.
Your windshield isn't just designed to enable you to have an unobstructed view of the road. Your windshield glass also plays a role in the structural support of your vehicle, particularly in the event you're involved in a collision. In a roll-over collision, the glass helps support the roof of the vehicle and keeps it from collapsing and crushing down on you.
When your windshield glass has even a small crack or chip, its integrity is weakened. This increases the risk of the glass shattering in the event of an accident as well as your risk of injury.
Even if you're fortunate enough to avoid an accident, a cracked or chipped windshield still puts your safety at risk. This is especially true during cases of extremely cold or hot weather. On a cold or hot day, the first thing the average driver does is turn their heat or air conditioner on to the highest setting.
Damaged glass is more susceptible to shock from sudden temperature changes. For instance, on a cold winter day, turning your heat to full blast may shock the glass and cause the crack or chip to expand and in extreme cases, even shatter. If either of these things happen while you're on the road, this can inhibit your ability to see and jeopardize your safety.
Driving with a chip or crack anywhere near the driver's side of the window could also result in a vehicle citation. This type of infraction is no different than driving without working headlights – they both impede your ability to drive safely.
Even more significant is the fact that if you were to be involved in an accident, the other driver and their insurance company could make a claim that your obstructed view caused from the cracked windshield played a role in the accident, making you a negligent party.
If your windshield is cracked or chipped, make sure you are reaching out to an auto glass service like X-Treme Auto Glass to help repair the glass and ensure your safety.