Even though most people conjure images of seatbelts and airbags when they think of automotive safety, the reality is that a car's windshield does more to protect you than any other single piece of equipment. Modern windshields consist of two layers of glass held together by a thin but extremely strong layer of vinyl. So when your car is hit from behind, or a large piece of debris comes flying into your windshield, you don't have to worry about the glass shattering and injuring you or other passengers. That said, what should you do when your windshield is cracked or chipped? Read on below for four tips on repairing or replacing your car's windshield.
Time is Money
No matter how small it is, if you spot a small crack in your windshield caused a rock or other debris, take it to a local glass repair shop or auto dealer immediately. If you wait too long, the crack will inevitably splinter and grow longer, making repair or replacement more costly than it would have been just a few days after the crack appeared. Small chips in the glass can also "spider-web" out in a similar fashion.
In the Line of Sight
If a piece of debris chips or cracks the glass that is in the driver's line of vision, it's usually best to replace the entire windshield, regardless of how small the damaged area is. That's because the process used to repair the damage can often distort the glass, making it harder for the driver to see what's in the front of them and making them more prone to future accidents.
Know the Law
If your windshield is cracked or chipped in an accident, be sure to look up the law in your province and determine what fines may be applicable. Many people drive around with a cracked windshield ignorant of the fact that they can be ticketed for it. No one wants to pay steep fines on top of the money they already have to spend to fix the windshield itself, so be sure to educate yourself about possible fines after an accident.
Know Your Deductible
Don't assume that your insurance company covers the entire cost of windshield replacement. Though windshields repairs and replacements are considered safety measures, a hefty deductible may still apply. If the deductible is high enough, it may not even be worth reporting the replacement to your insurance company and having it on file.