When you get a chip or crack in your vehicle's windshield, it becomes a danger to you and other drivers on the road. For this reason you don't want to delay getting your windshield repaired or replaced. Here are three reasons you should get it fixed sooner rather than later.
Driving With the Damage May Be Against the Law
According to three police agencies and two independent traffic experts, a cracked windshield (or other vehicle equipment violation) is the fourth most common reasons for getting pulled over by the police. When you are pulled over because of a cracked windshield, you have the chance of being issued a ticket if the cop deems it unsafe. Then, you will have to pay for the ticket out of your pocket. Once you have a ticket on your driving record, your car insurance rates may increase.
Where you live will determine if your windshield crack is illegal. Many states will consider a crack illegal if it is a certain length, goes across the driver's field of vision, or reaches off the edge of two sides of your windshield. Most states won't pass your vehicle for the safety inspection if your vehicle's windshield is cracked, so just get it repaired. If the crack is no longer than three inches or a chip is smaller than a quarter, it can be patched instead of replacing the entire windshield.
Your Windshield Supports Your Vehicle
Besides providing you protection from bugs and dirt flying into your vehicle when you drive, your windshield gives structural support to your vehicle. If you didn't have a windshield, the frame of your vehicle wouldn't be able to withstand an impact during a crash. If you are driving around with a cracked windshield, the surface of the window's glass is broken. This compromises the structure of your vehicle when you don't have a fully intact windshield.
Your windshield is also in your vehicle to help direct your vehicle's airbags if you are in a car crash. If you get into a car crash while your windshield is cracked, the airbags deploying will push against the broken windshield and shatter it, possibly pushing it out the window frame. And, when the windshield shatters, shards of glass may injure you.
After the windshield has been shattered, or no longer in your vehicle's window, your vehicle's window frame is weaker. This can cause your vehicle's roof or sides to fold in on you during a roll over accident. And, when you don't have a windshield after an impact, you have the chance of getting thrown from your vehicle through the front window.
When a windshield is intact, the impact of collision will travel along the body of the car, around you and any passengers inside. In an accident the crash will shatter the cracked window, allowing the impact of the collision to travel through the passengers in the vehicle, causing injuries.
Damage Will Obstruct Your View While Driving
If you get a rock chip in your windshield that spreads several inches, you may not think it is a hazard. But, if it is in front of your driver's seat, the crack can get in the way of your view of traffic, distracting you from safely maneuvering your vehicle.
During winter when the sun shines on your cracked windshield, the heat from the sun will expand your windshield's glass, causing the crack to spread. Or, if you turn on your vehicle's window defroster, the change in temperature can cause more cracks to appear. Over time the small crack can turn into a larger one, covering more space on the windshield in front of you.
It is important to repair your windshield if it is ever cracked or chipped so you can avoid more costly repairs and consequences later on.
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