Winter weather conditions contribute to an increase in auto accidents as well. If your windshield is cracked, the overall safety of your vehicle may be compromised. “Many people don’t realize that their car’s windshield contributes to the vehicle’s structural integrity by supporting the roof during a rollover,” says Leo Cyr, vice president of the National Glass Association’s (NGA) Auto Glass Division.
If the windshield is dislodged during a rollover, roof crush may be more severe. In addition, some vehicles are equipped with passenger side airbags that use the windshield for support during deployment. A damaged or improperly installed windshield may render that air bag ineffective when needed most.
That’s why keeping your windshield in good shape is so important. Repairing or replacing your windshield should be done by a certified expert. But fixing your windshield may not be as costly as you think. Most professional auto glass businesses today offer both windshield repair and windshield replacement. By fixing small rock chips and cracks right away, you can avoid more damage, and it is highly likely that your original windshield can be saved.
The NGA’s National Windshield Repair Committee recommends replacing any windshield where the damage has pierced the windshield’s inner PVB layer or has broken the inner layer of glass. During windshield repair, the damaged windshield is not removed from the vehicle. The factory applied seal of windshield to vehicle is preserved. That fact alone may be good reason to consider windshield repair as a first option.
Some windshields may be so badly damaged that repair is not possible. If windshield replacement is indicated, Cyr recommends that consumers place their highest priority on locating a competent, professional installation company. “Windshield replacement is a skilled, safety related service requiring highly trained technicians using the best materials technology can provide,” he says.
The NGA recommends using an NGA Certified Auto Glass Technician or Master Technician for all windshield replacements and repairs. Consumers may locate NGA certified technicians in their area at www.glass.org, www.windshieldrepair.org, or, www.myautoglass.org where additional information on auto glass safety is also available.