Is A Cracked Windshield Dangerous?
When to Ignore; When to Replace
Driving on our Montana roads, you’re likely to get a rock thrown up onto your windshield a time or two. It happens to everyone at some point, and generally speaking the hit isn’t direct, and glances off with little more than a loud smack. But what happens when it chips or cracks your windshield?
There’s a little bit that we have to dive into here. And as we strive to be the best auto body repair shop in Bozeman, and in all of Montana, we want to make sure that you’re safe on the road.
How Windshield Glass is Made
We’re not going to get into the nitty gritty, but we’ll just give you a brief outline here. There are multiple different ways to make glass. The glass that’s on the surface of your smooth top cooking range is very different than the glass that is in the window nearby. The glass that holds your tasty beverage is different than the glass that covers your family pictures, which in turn is different than auto glass.
Windshield glass, to simplify, is two layers of glass, with a piece of plastic laminated in between them. This piece of plastic keeps the glass from shattering when struck. Without it, you would have shards of glass flying at you when a rock hit the windshield. With it, you get a chip, crack, or spiderweb.
A Chip versus a Crack
So are those chips or cracks dangerous? First, we need to know that there are two ways the windshield can “break”. Most often when a rock hits, a small chip will occur. This is usually confined to a small area, and isn’t really a big deal. In fact, many glass shops can force a silicate type solution and fill them in a matter of minutes.
A crack, on the other hand, is a little more dangerous. The crack can start from a chip and radiate outward. It can travel across the windshield, or it can curve and twist toward the edge. Cracks, until they hit the edge, always grow as pressure and temperature causes slight movement in the windshield.
Is a Cracked Windshield Dangerous?
Now to answer the question you were seeking. Is it dangerous? The answer is maybe, but usually yes. Your windshield is your view outside of your car. Any obstruction means that you could possibly miss an obstacle and get into a collision.
If the crack is way off in the corner, it’s probably not going to be a big deal. And the windshield isn’t likely going to come crashing in and cover you with glass. But, as we know, cracks tend to spread. One weak area can lead to other weak areas.
As soon as you get a crack, chip, or break in your windshield, set aside the cash to get it replaced.
Bring Your Wrecks to A & D Auto Body
Here at Big Sky Collision, our goal is to have you on the road safely. So if you have been in an accident, whether with a post, a tree, a car, or an animal, we will restore your vehicle to full factory safety standards.