Windshields frequently get small cracks or chips from rocks and other debris that are kicked up by vehicles in front of you. If the damage seems small, you might be tempted to put off getting it fixed or just decide to live with the problem.
It's important to not ignore the problem and to get your damaged windshield fixed or replaced, for the following four reasons:
1. You may be breaking the law.
In some states, like California, you can be pulled over by the police if your windshield is damaged and the officer determines that your vision is impaired as a result. Under California law, the officer can give you 48 hours to have the problem fixed, and you can also be arrested.
Other states require vehicle inspections that your car may not pass if you have a damaged windshield.
2. Your replacement may be free.
In many cases, your comprehensive auto insurance will pay for repairs or replacement.
And in a few states, like South Carolina, you won't even have to pay a deductible if you have your damaged windshield replaced. This is state law, so it applies to every insurance company operating in the state. It's worth checking the laws of your state and with your insurer to see if you'll have to pay anything.
3. Damage can worsen over time.
A small crack or chip can become much bigger over time. Normal vibrations from your car and the road can cause a small crack to spread into a much larger area that may obscure the driver's vision. The damage may also get worse when temperatures rise and fall. This change causes the glass to expand and contract, increasing the chance that the damage will grow.
4. Your windshield is a vital safety device.
Your windshield is an important element of your car's safety system. It helps support the structural integrity of the car if you're in an accident, preventing the car from collapsing in on you. An intact windshield may also cushion the blow and help keep you from being ejected from your vehicle in case of a rollover. The windshield also helps the passenger's side air bag properly deploy. A damaged windshield could compromise your safety in the event of an accident.
Having your windshield repaired or replaced is an easy task that often takes less than an hour. Many auto glass replacement shops have mobile units that come to you for added convenience. Have your windshield repaired or replaced sooner rather than later, and you'll be back on the road safely in very little time.