Your car’s windshield is tougher than the side windows. It’s designed that way for passenger safety. The windshield is a laminate of two thick glasses with vinyl in-between. In cases of severe impact (like a car crash), the windshield won’t break apart into sharp, jagged pieces – thus minimizing the risk for injury.
As might be expected, the windshield can take quite a beating. But this doesn’t mean it’s impervious to damage or that it’s 100% safe as long as you park your car. Take it from us. We’ve handled plenty of auto glass repairs at our shop. Most cases of windshield damage are actually caused by falling objects, not vehicular accidents.
If you want to avoid windshield damage and a possibly expensive windshield replacement, watch out for the following risks. We’ve also provided car safety tips so you can keep them from happening.
3 Main Causes of Windshield Damage and How to Prevent Them
Risk #1: Snow
Living in a snowy climate already places your vehicle at risk. Snow and ice can collect on rooftops during winter and fall on your windshield to cause damage. There’s also the added risk of snow storms and hail if you park out in the open.
Car safety tip: Park your vehicle in a garage to protect it from the elements. Consider installing a snow guard on your roof to keep snow from falling.
Risk #2: Trees
Trees (especially tall ones) pose several threats to your car throughout the year, no matter the season or climate. Fruits or branches can fall off them and crack your windshield, scratch your paint job, or dent your car. Some trees also produce sap which can damage the tint of your windshield. These risks go higher when it’s windy or rainy, or if there’s an active storm.
Car safety tip: Avoid parking your car under a tree. At home, you can further reduce the risk of windshield damage by trimming trees regularly, removing dead branches, and picking fruits that have reached maturity.
Risk #3: Construction tools and materials
We’ve seen this happen one-too-many times and have had to perform emergency windshield replacements. Windshields are often damaged during home or office construction, improvements, and repair work. Falling hammers, ladders, and paint buckets are among the most common culprits. Although any heavy tool or construction material poses serious risks to your car and windshield.
Car safety tip: Park your car in a safe spot, away from the construction site.
Risk #4: You
If you use your car as a step-up to reach higher places like the top of a roof or a tree, then you probably haven’t heard of Murphy’s Law:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
You are risking the possibility of cracking the windshield, as well as hurting yourself if you get on top of your car.
Car safety tip: Never use your car to elevate yourself. It’s always safer to use a ladder.
What should I do if my windshield is damaged?
The inevitable has happened and you already have a damaged windshield. What now? Your next step is to take your car to a trusted auto glass repair shop and have it checked. From there, a professional crew can give you a proper assessment of your windshield and whether it needs to be repaired or replaced.