Is a Chipped or Cracked Windshield Dangerous?
When driving down the highway, it is common to be struck by a small rock or other piece of debris that can chip or crack your windshield. Typically, these cracks are small and seem relatively harmless. Since this type of windshield damage does not seem like a big deal, most drivers continue driving with a damaged windshield, thinking the problem is only cosmetic. So, is a chipped or cracked windshield just a cosmetic issue or can it actually be dangerous?
Chipped or cracked windshields can be very dangerous. Here’s why: windshields perform more functions than just projecting the inside of the car from wind, rain, and debris.
Windshields provide structural integrity to the car. A solid windshield helps to transfer energy, in the event of an impact, to the chassis of the car. A cracked windshield weakens this defense mechanism and puts the driver and passengers in more danger of getting injured. Additionally, windshields provide structural integrity in the event of the car flipping. They help keep the roof propped up, keeping passengers from being killed or injured by a crushed roof. A damaged windshield can break much more easily, putting passengers at risk.
Windshields also help propel airbags towards the passengers, providing protection. A damaged windshield can break when the airbag is deployed since airbags generate massive amounts of energy. This prevents the airbag from properly inflating, leaving the driver and passenger without airbag protection.
The windshield is a vital safety mechanism used in today’s vehicles and does much more than keep out wind and rain. If you have a chipped or cracked windshield, schedule a repair as soon as possible.