Most people know the windshield is an important part of their car, but they may not realize exactly how important. It keeps you safe from things that might fly into your eyes while driving, like dust, bugs and tiny stones. But it’s also an important safety feature that helps to maintain the structural integrity of the vehicle and protects passengers from harm in case of a crash. This is why it’s important to make sure there are no chips or cracks in your windshield, and also to ensure that repairs and replacements are done when needed by a reliable auto glass service.
How your windshield protects you
Did you know that the windshield of your car is an important safety feature of the vehicle? That’s because it provides as much as 45% of the structural integrity for the cabin, which allows the airbags to deploy correctly in case of a crash. It also helps to keep passengers from being ejected, and the roof from collapsing. In a rollover, it can make up 60% of the structural integrity of the vehicle, which can make all the difference in safety for the passengers. In fact, one of the five tests used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to evaluate vehicle safety is roof strength, along with front and side strength as well as the functioning of head restraints and seats.
Another way that the windshield protects passengers is by not breaking up into little pieces which can cause injuries, on impact. Instead, it shatters into a spider web pattern but stays whole, as it is designed to do. In fact, the windshield is not a single sheet of glass but two, which are held together by a layer of polyvinyl butyral or PVB, which holds the glass pieces together even if they shatter.
Why safety depends on proper installation
To function properly as an important safety feature, the windshield must be correctly installed at a reliable auto glass service. The right fit, and proper application of adhesive PVB can be crucial to the windshield paying its part on case of a crash. This allows the air bags to deploy correctly, prevents passengers from being thrown out of the vehicle, and maintains roof strength, absorbing the shock of impact.
This is why windshield replacement and installation must always be done by qualified technicians at a reputed auto glass service. Even though they may feel pressured to do the work quickly, the adhesive must be given enough time to dry at the auto glass shop. This will ensure that the glass will shatter on impact but not break into pieces that can cause injuries.
Windshield repair and replacement
Auto glass repair should be done in a timely fashion, before the problem becomes too large to fix. Small chips or cracks can be caused when pieces of debris fly up from the road and hit the windshield. They may take the form of chips, cracks, star breaks or bullseyes. If the damage is not too large, it can be repaired. Otherwise, the entire windshield must be replaced.
Auto glass services replace around 15 million windshields every year. Some types of repair and replacement costs may be covered by your auto insurance.
The windshield of your vehicle is an important safety feature, especially in case of a crash. Any repairs or installation of a replacement should be done by qualified techs from a reputed auto glass service.