How long can I drive with a cracked windshield? This is a common question with many motorists. Chips and cracks on your car windshield can happen for a number of reasons. Edge cracks, stress cracks, or floater cracks generally occur with automobiles that are a few years old.
However, a chipped windshield is a fairly common occurrence. This may happen when gravel, debris, or a stone fling off the tires of the passing vehicles onto your windshield. There are many reasons that your windshield can get damaged. The question is at what point is it an absolute must to get it fixed before you are putting your safety at risk. In this article, we will discuss what you need to know about auto glass safety and when you should take action when you notice a windshield chip or a crack.
Can I Delay A Cracked Windshield Repair?
When you have a chipped or cracked windshield, there is always the temptation to delay the repair or replacement. This is, of course, unless visibility is seriously compromised. Yet, this is not a wise idea. If the chip is too small and if, after a few drives, you don’t see any widening around the chip (or, crack), you may keep on driving for a fair amount of time without exposing yourself to any grave risk. However, eventually, all chips and cracks spread which can lead to a full windshield replacement. A windscreen replacement is much more costly than an auto glass repair. So, essentially, it is worth repairing right away.
Why Windshield Cracks And Chips Expand
However, as mentioned above, cracks or chips do tend to expand. It would be a rare occurrence if it did not. As it happens, glass is a flexible material. Glass contracts or expands with fluctuating temperatures. A cracked or chipped windshield means that the screen will be less likely to bear up the considerable amount of pressure caused by high-speed driving. This is also true for extreme temperatures. For instance, a small to medium crack that apparently looks harmless enough can suddenly expand. It may even cause your windscreen to fall off if you are driving in wintry conditions. In such conditions, the cold windshield will be unable to withstand the pressure it is subjected to it by the in-car heating.
Your Windshield Protects You
Also, windscreens are primarily there to act as a barrier against wind, rain, sleet, or snow. They also provide critical structural reinforcement to the car’s entire body. A windshield helps your car retain its strength and stability. Therefore, any crack which is more than a few inches is detrimental to your vehicle as a whole.
These are a few of the reasons why it may not be a good idea on your part to delay a repair. By delaying, you are putting both yourself and your car at risk. As for the legal side of it, you won’t be stopped because of a cracked windscreen unless it blocks your line of vision. If it does, however, you will get a ticket sooner or later! A cracked windshield may also prove to be a nuisance during a periodic inspection. For example, any crack or damage on the A-zone of the windshield (the area directly facing the driver) which is wider than 10 mm will result in an inspection failure.
What To Do When You Have A Cracked Windshield
Our recommendation is that you attend to your damaged windshield sooner than later. Call an auto glass company and obtain professional advice. In case of smaller cracks or chips, the screen can be repaired. In other cases, you may have to replace the windshield. If your car insurance carries comprehensive coverage (which includes glass breakage), it will cover the repair cost of up to three rock chips or cracks without needing to pay any deductible. Check the details of your insurance and this may help you get your damaged windscreen fixed quickly.
For Superior Auto Glass Repairs, Call Liberty AutoGlass
Liberty AutoGlass offers auto glass repair using the highest quality materials and the most advanced auto glass technology to repair your auto glass correctly and quickly. We offer mobile services so we can repair your damaged auto glass at the convenience of your home or office. This means that we come to wherever your vehicle is parked and you can go about your day as you would normally. We fix windshields, back glass, door glass, vent glass, and quarter glass. We also can handle your insurance claim from start to finish, making the process easier for you! Call Liberty AutoGlass today to find out more!