Why Don’t Windshields Shatter Upon Impact?

Windshields are intended to protect you on the road. This is because it’s made of special coating and material that prevents it from shattering upon impact. Unlike typical glass, windshields don’t break into tiny pieces that go airborne.

When a high-speed object strikes the windshield, it will crack the glass. However, a special layer will hold the shards together to prevent injuring the passengers inside.

What prevents windshields from shattering?

Modern windshields are made of three layers. First, it’s composed of two glass sheets sandwiching a poly-vinyl butyral layer. This is a plastic material that joins the glass together and is also responsible for preventing it from shattering.

The middle plastic material offers added support to the auto glass. So when the windshield encounters an impact, the glass won’t fly into tiny pieces. A few parts of the windshield will come off, but the majority will stay in place.

Aside from that, windshields are tinted with another layer of film. While this isn’t made to prevent shattering, such a layer still adds support to the glass.

Windshield glass is made to withstand a sheer amount of force. But since it’s still made of glass, it will reach a breaking point.

To ensure that your windshield is at par with the standards, you should visit a professional car detailer for proper installation.

Do car windows also use the same glass?

Overall, windshields are made of safety glass, which is the standard material in the automobile industry. However, your car’s windows don’t usually have the same laminated glass as the windshield. Most of the time, manufacturers use tempered glass.

Tempered glass is produced by repeatedly cooling and heating the material. Such a process makes the glass more durable against force. However, it doesn’t have the plastic layer in the middle used on windshields.

Nevertheless, tempered glass is still shatter-proof to some extent. It still prevents the glass from shattering into tiny pieces during impact.

Benefits of laminated windshield glass

The laminated glass used on modern windshields helps localize the breakage. With this, your windshield will still have reasonable visibility. This is very important if something comes crashing to your windshield in the middle of a highway and you can’t pull over right away.

Aside from that, laminated glass reduces glare during a sunny day. It even offers topnotch noise reduction on the road.

Moreover, it also resists small debris brought by passing vehicles. Above all, it provides safety for all passengers, which can be life-saving on many occasions.

In the event that someone flies through the windshield for failure to wear seatbelts, laminated glass can help cushion the blow. This is much safer than the plated glass used to be installed on old cars. Still, wearing seatbelts remains the best solution to avoid flying through the windshield.


Modern windshields have come a long way in increasing the safety of every passenger riding a car. While it’s durable and shatter-proof, you should still observe proper maintenance to keep the auto glass in good shape. You should also visit a reliable car detailer to have your windshield repaired or replaced if necessary.