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driving with a cracked windshield

Understanding The Dangers of Driving With a Cracked Windshield

Maybe it was hit by a large, flying rock? Perhaps somebody threw something at it? In any case, your windshield has a huge crack in it.

While you’re undoubtedly upset about your windshield being cracked, you’ve decided to just try and make do with it. After all, you can still see out of it, right?

Though you may be able to see out of your cracked windshield, you must understand that driving with a cracked windshield is far from safe. In fact, in some cases, it can turn out to be very dangerous.

Read on more further information.

Can a Cracked Windshield Turn Into a Shattered Windshield?

You may or may not be aware of the fact that car windshields are made out of a special type of laminated glass. This glass is designed in such a way that, when it breaks, it typically doesn’t shatter.

However, this is not to say that windshields never shatter. Cracked windshields, in particular, are fairly prone to shattering at some point in the future. Typically, when cracked windshields shatter, they do so for one of the following reasons:

Shattering as a Result of Temperature Changes

Over the years, there have been plenty of reports of both cracked and non-cracked windshields shattering due to rapid temperature changes. This is because extreme temperatures cause windshields to expand and contract.

If temperatures go from one extreme to another in a short time, your windshield will be forced to expand and contract in a short time, destroying its structural integrity, and causing it to shatter.

Shattering as a Result of Physical Pressure

When your windshield is whole, you can lean on it a bit without having it shatter beneath your weight. When your windshield is cracked, however, this is typically not the case.

Even slight amounts of physical pressure can cause a cracked windshield to give in and shatter. In fact, in some cases, even air pressure will cause a cracked windshield to shatter.

Spontaneous Shattering

It’s simple: once the structural integrity of glass has been compromised, said the glass is prone to shattering. In some cases, you’ll actually see cracked windshields explode into pieces for no reason at all.

In essence, it doesn’t matter how careful you are; your cracked windshield is always a potential danger.

Is It Ever Safe to Drive With a Broken Windshield?

Now, you may be asking, “is it ever safe to drive with a broken windshield?” The simple answer to this is no. As was discussed above, a broken or cracked windshield is always at risk of shattering entirely.

The truth is, if your windshield becomes cracked, you need to have it fixed as quickly as possible. The longer you drive around with a cracked windshield, the better chance you have of your windshield exploding. This, of course, can result in severe injuries.

Can You Drive With a Cracked Windshield?

As was just noted, it’s not at all safe to drive with a cracked windshield. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t drive with a cracked windshield. In many cases, the law will still allow you to do so.

But, before getting into a car with a cracked windshield, there are a few considerations you’ll want to make. By making these considerations, you’ll be able to better decide on whether or not driving your car is worth the risk.

Crack Size

The truth of the matter is that it’s generally safer to drive with a small windshield crack than it is to drive with a large windshield crack. Small cracks are potentially harmful but don’t typically compromise the structural integrity of the windshield as much as large cracks. In essence, they more rarely result in a complete shattering.

Cracks of 1 to 3 inches are serious but aren’t nearly as concerning as cracks of 10 inches or more. As a general rule, the longer and wider the crack in your windshield, the better chance your windshield has of shattering all over the place.

Crack Positioning

Next, take a look at where the crack is located. If it’s not near the driver’s side of the car, it might not be much of a cause for concern. This is because it won’t impair your line of sight, allowing you to drive with as much concentration as you always have.

This isn’t to say that such a crack isn’t dangerous. It’s still just as capable of causing your windshield to shatter as any differently-positioned crack. In fact, if the crack is located at the edge of your windshield, it might make shattering an even more likely possibility.

Crack Spreading

Is the crack in your windshield the same size that it was the first day it presented itself or has it grown larger as time has passed? If it has grown larger, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger in the future.

What’s the end result of this growth? You guessed it; it’s going to shatter. Instead of letting your windshield crack grow, it’s highly advised that you have it inspected and repaired by an automotive glass expert, such as the ones at autoglassexpress.com

Repair or Replace?

Let’s say that you’ve decided to do something about the crack in your windshield. The question now is: should you repair the crack or should you have your entire windshield replaced? The answer depends on a few different factors.

If the crack in your windshield falls below 12 inches in length, repair could be an option. However, if the crack exceeds 12 inches, it’s very rare that a repair will get the job done suitably. When dealing with cracks of this extent, it’s a good idea to replace your windshield entirely.

Are You Driving With a Cracked Windshield?

Are you currently driving with a cracked windshield? If so, you’re putting yourself in constant danger and should have your windshield fixed as soon as possible. Failure to do so could have dire consequences.

Need help fixing your windshield? Looking for more information on automobiles? You’re in the right place. CertifiedMasterTech.com has all of the information you could ever need.

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