Reasons To Avoid Driving With A Cracked Or Chipped Windshield

A cracked windshield is definitely one of life's annoyances. You're driving along, and a bit of road debris slams into your windshield. Maybe you notice the damage right away, or maybe it's in a hidden corner. As soon as you notice it, though, you should have it repaired. Keep reading for the reasons you shouldn't drive with a cracked or chipped windshield.

Damage Can Become Worse

According to Popular Mechanics, almost any chip can be repaired. Small cracks can, too. Unfortunately, you can't just drive around until you have time to get the repair done. Small cracks and chips don't stay small.

Several factors can make them worse. For one, any change in the flex of the windshield can lengthen the crack. For instance, say you turn on the air conditioner on a hot day. The glass expanded from the heat, and now it will contract from the cold. This can cause the damage to get worse, to the point where you need replacement.

The change doesn't even have to be that significant. Windshield wipers can push dirt and debris into the crack or chip. The debris will work its way into the rough edges of the defect and cause eventual discoloration. So, even when you do get it fixed, the glass will no longer be clear.

Damage Can Impede Your Sightline

Windshield damage can happen anywhere. However, it's especially bad when it occurs in your sightline. Most states have laws that state your sight can't be in any way impeded. If you get stopped for another traffic violation, the police officer could potentially add that charge to the ticket.

The bigger danger is that it actually prevents you from seeing what's on the road. For one, a flaw in a windshield is distracting. What's more, such flaws tend to reflect more light, which can result in a sudden glare that you have to blink away.

Car's Structural Integrity Is Compromised

The biggest danger is that a compromised windshield can compromise the integrity of the entire car. Modern windshields are built as part of the car's frame. Even a small crack makes that frame panel weaker — much more so for longer cracks. So, in the unfortunate event of a rollover accident, the roof is more likely to collapse because the windshield won't support the weight it was designed to.

Front-end collisions represent a danger, too. For drivers who aren't wearing a seatbelt, they're more likely to be ejected through the windshield. What's more, the windshield is supposed to transfer force from the collision down into the chassis. Damaged glass might actually shatter instead of doing that.

Avoid the above dangers by calling for mobile windshield repair or replacement.