If your windshield is cracked or old, you might think you can keep it until something happens that causes you to worry. Your grandpa drove an old truck with a cracked windshield for what seems like 30 years and it was never a problem. So you wonder why all the fuss about keeping your windshield free from cracks or large rock chips; you wonder about the advice on getting a new one. There are a couple of reasons for replacing or repairing windshields, and they both have to do with safety.
The Necessity of a Windshield
The top safety reason that you want to repair or replace a chipped or cracked windshield is that the chip can turn into a crack, and the crack means that your windshield isn’t going to be as sturdy as it is designed to be. Windshields are created in a specific way to withstand rocks and wind and baseballs and other debris. They are meant to be breakable from the inside so you can go through one in an accident without getting hurt by the glass, but not easily breakable from the outside so rocks and sticks won’t harm you at high speeds or in high winds.
If you have a crack, all that tolerance and load and kinetic energy resistance is moot. The windshield won’t have the engineered strength if its integrity is damaged.
And that engineered load is part of the total protection of your vehicle. The body of the car uses the windshield to help strengthen the frame that protects you in a rollover. The roof, the window frames…all of that protection lessens when a crack weakens the glass.
Additionally, pitting from long use can obscure your vision, particularly in bright light, reducing your visibility and putting your safety at risk. Take the time to keep yourself and your family safe by repairing or replacing your windshield when it needs it.