Many-a-times, you may have driven around with a chipped or cracked windshield. Perhaps you had no time to take the car to a repair shop. Maybe you thought it was no big deal; after all, you could still see through it and it couldn’t possibly cause any harm. The fact of the matter is, the windshield in car plays an important role in maintaining the vehicle’s structure.
Whether it is a small chip in the windshield or a crack which seems to grow bigger each day, they are all potentially hazardous. The fear of getting a ticket by the police is not the only reason to repair the windshield. It poses a much larger problem than being a mere cosmetic concern.
Every time that you drive around with a cracked windshield, you put yourself and the people around you in the way of harm. Let us understand the importance of a windshield in car and why driving around with a cracked windshield is a safety hazard.
The Function of a Windshield
A windshield is made of three layers – a sheet of laminated glass on the outside, a layer of tempered glass on the inside, and a plastic layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between the two. These layers are fused using an autoclave to make the windshield clear, transparent, and flexible. Although the windshield is breakable, it is designed to disintegrate into dull-edged pieces as opposed to sharp shards of glass that can cause harm.
- Supporting the Hood
Initially, cars featured steel pillars to support the roof. With technological evolution, the windshield was designed to be responsible for this function. A cracked windshield, however, cannot provide the vertical support, the roof needs. In the event of an accident, it is incapable of protecting the passengers since the impact of the accident moves horizontally throughout the car, due to a lack of stability. Thus, the hood of the car is at a higher risk of caving in and causing severe damage.
- Keeping the Bad Away
A windshield protects passengers from several environmental elements – wind, rain, sunlight, snow, insects, etc. It keeps you away from the debris that flies onto your windshield and cracks it. Heavy trucks are the primary reason for such flying stones. To curb this, some countries have ordered the installation of load covers on all new truck models.
- Shielding from Accidents
A strong windshield is capable of absorbing the impact in case of a rollover accident. Furthermore, it maintains the car’s structural stability in a head-on collision. Without a sturdy windshield, you run the risk of irreparable car damages or worse, injury and death.
Risk Associated With a Cracked Windshield
Now that we’ve seen the significance of a windshield, let’s go through the damage a cracked windshield can inflict upon your vehicle and you.
- Fear of Shattering
The windshield in car is at a greater risk of shattering in areas with unpredictable weather. Rapid temperature changes can cause your windshield to expand and contract in an unstable manner, leaving it more prone to shattering.
External pressure can also lead to unexpected shattering of the windshield. Hail, strong gusts of wind and rain are all factors that subject it to a lot of pressure. While this happens to a normal windshield as well, there is a higher chance of a cracked windshield shattering due to pressure, since its stability is compromised.
Sometimes, you may have witnessed a windshield randomly explode into pieces. Once the structure of the windshield is compromised, it is susceptible to spontaneous shattering. This is a major risk and puts innocent bystanders, apart from passengers, in the way of harm.
- Unsuccessful Air Bag Deployment
A windshield is responsible for providing support to the airbags. When an airbag is deployed, it extends outwards and the windshield acts as a backstop to provide cushion support to the passenger. A damaged windshield cannot bear the explosive force with which an airbag deploys, thus shattering into pieces and harming the occupant.
- Risk of Ejection
In the event of an accident where the passenger has not fastened the seatbelt, the windshield acts as an extra barrier of protection and keeps them from being flung out of the car. A damaged windshield, on the other hand, does not have the same degree of strength and will fail to offer protection to occupants.
Got a damaged windshield to take care of immediately? Head over to AIS Windshield Experts- the expert automotive safety glass repair and replacement company in India. Our motto is ‘faster, safer, better’ and we offer unbeatable service with a 4-hour replacement time, parts with OE specifications, and a complete year’s warranty.