How Dangerous Is A Cracked Windshield?

A cracked windshield not only makes your car lose its aesthetics but is also potentially dangerous. So the topic we’d like to discuss here is how dangerous is a cracked windshield. And what to do when there are problems with it? Let’s find out with CFJ’s notices right below.

The Basics of Car Windshield

A car windshield is a transparent glass covering the front of the car, through which the driver observes the vision ahead of the vehicle. Car windshields are very easy to crack, so they must have specialized construction and be made from an exclusive material.

Car windshields are super solid thanks to 2 glass panels joined together by a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) plastic. Therefore, when the windshield is unfortunately damaged due to a strong impact, the glass will break into pieces lowkey. But these cracked pieces will not be flying around, causing danger to the driver and people commuting or standing around.

The car windshield has the function of helping the driver avoid rain, wind, and small obstacles and prevent passengers from being thrown out in the event of an accident.

car windshield
At the same time, the windshield also makes the car frame stronger and protects the car roof. (Photo: iStock)

With its considerable functions and benefits, a windshield is an effective tool for drivers and passengers. But the car windshield is still facing many dangers every day, most commonly cracking, mainly due to lowering infrastructure, poor traffic awareness, and the negligence of a part of drivers of vehicles participating in traffic.

How Dangerous Is A Cracked Windshield

Imagine you are driving your car on the highway, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a rock falls straight on your windshield. You may be lucky, not injured, but the windshield will be there and hold every consequence. In a light situation, a car windshield can crack, but more severe, it can break into pieces. With that said, here are a few dangers that can happen to you and your driving experience with your car cracked windshield.

  • Cracked windshields can make accidents more dangerous: As mentioned above, windshields protect the roof of a car, helping to strengthen the chassis. So, when this glass is cracked, if you are in an accident and your car flips over, the roof is more prone to deformation, which can worsen the accident.
  • Cracked windshields can reduce driver visibility and reflect light into the driver’s eyes, making it difficult to see ahead.
  • A cracked windshield makes your car less luxurious: A scratch on your car is enough to lose its aesthetics, let alone a crack in the windshield.

Factors Affecting The Replacement Or Repair of A Cracked Windshield

When the windshield is cracked, you have 2 main options: weld the glass or replace the whole glass. Here are the criteria that determine which cracked windshield treatment you should choose for a satisfying, economical, and quality result.

Location and size

If the size of the cracked area is less than 15 cm, the possibility of successful treatment by glass welding is high. The larger the crack, the more difficult it is to treat. The closer the cracks are to the edge of the glass, the more dangerous it is.

If the distance between the impact point and the edge of the glass is less than 4 cm, you should replace the glass. If the crack is directly blocking the driver’s view, you should also get brand-new glass because the glass weld can affect the driver’s ability to see and increase the risk of an accident.

Classification of windshield cracks

window crack types
The common window crack types. (Photo: Cracked Windshield Laws)

The first and second type of cracks may be the least dangerous type of cracks, and also the easiest to deal with. Professional glass welders can fix these cracks in about 30 minutes. And you should still be able to use the car within a few days or weeks, although the general rule is to treat cracks as soon as possible, as these cracks can gradually develop into more dangerous cracking.

Cracks number 3,4,5 are the type of cracks that need to be treated as soon as possible. These cracks indicate that the windshield has suffered severe damage, not just the surface. If you don’t fix it soon, you will likely have to replace the whole glass.

Cracks number 6,7,8 are the most dangerous, and you need to deal with them immediately because your safety and the passengers in the vehicle are at stake.

You can still use the car for a long time without any problems. However, the crack area still weakens the structure of the glass and can be more fragile on impact. It is also important to note that the longer you leave it on, the more difficult it will be for the crack to be repaired as not all type of cracks are easy to deal with.

Why shouldn’t the windshield always be replaced?

When the windshield appears small scratches, many car owners worry and will ask for insurance to replace the new glass for the car. Of course, this is acceptable, but replacing the glass is not the best solution. Few people understand or ignore that the windshield is one of the most vital parts of a vehicle’s overall safety.

When replacing new glass, it is complicated to ensure the same quality, accuracy, and safety standards as the old glass assembled on the original car. In addition, replacing the windshield will take a lot of time and money. With standard glasses, the cost can be up to several tens of millions depending on the vehicle, and cheap low-quality glass will significantly reduce the protective effect of the windshield. Even with the right new glass, it’s not easy to find a repair shop with the equipment and skills to install it just like the original glass.

Do’s and Don’ts With The Cracked Car Windshield

What should you do in this situation?

  • Try not to let dirt get into the brake part. If dirt gets in, it will be hard to patch the glass. You need to clean the crack and apply clear tape on the crack on both sides of the glass. You can also temporarily apply colorless nail polish to the crack before taking it in for repair.
  • It is necessary to replace the wiper blade as soon as you find out that the wiper is not clean or is too old to protect the glass from scratches. Do not pour plain water into the glass cleaner. You must use a glass cleaner with the correct ratio according to the instructions.
  • Take your car to a professional glass repair service instead of going to a general repair garage, or do it yourself at home if you don’t know how and understand the basics. The experts will deal with windshield problems and advise you on glass repair or replacement. They also have the tools and professional machines to repair cracks in the glass more effectively.

What should you not do?

  • Like it or not, glass has cracked, cracked must be treated, and you should not try to ignore them no matter how small the crack.
  • If the glass is cracked or cracked, do not turn on the air conditioner to be too cold when it is hot, and too hot when it is cold. The big temperature difference will cause the glass to crack faster and more often. If driving in cold countries in winter and the glass is frozen, warm the car up slowly.
  • Once the glass has cracked, try not to park the car in a place that is too hot and in direct sunlight. Should park the car in the basement, in the shade of trees, if not cover the car. High temperatures will make cracks in your car’s glass worse.
  • Parking in the hot sun can make cracks worse.
sun reflecting on windshield
Avoid parking your car under the hot sun to protect the windshields. (Photo: True Blue Auto Glass)
  • Do not forcefully slam the door or trunk, as the vacuum inside the cabin will create unexpected pressure on the windshield. When opening and closing the door is required, lower the window glass slightly to avoid pressure. If you still decide to drive when the glass is broken, avoid opening and closing the doors sharply, going on a bumpy road, or going at high speed. This act only makes the crack worse and is not safe for you.
  • If you have to replace the glass, don’t save-money-at-wrong-time and choose a cheap windshield with not-guaranteed origin. That type of glass has below-low quality, the ability to block the strong wind is not good, the image is folded, and the ability to dissipate heat and sound insulation is also worse.

Ways To Maintain Car Windshields

Windshield directly affects the driver’s vision, significantly determining the safety factor when driving. Except for windshield wipers, windshields are often neglected and under-maintained.

Here are some common windshield problems and how to maintain them:

Scratched windshield

The scratched windshield is a common problem for people who always drive in areas with thick layers of dust, soil, sand, and rocks. In addition, when you move behind big trucks, there is also a potential risk of sand and rocks splashing on the surface of the windshield.

If there is large dust lingering on its surface, the windshield wipers will help clear it up and increase the visibility to assist the driver. However, this act also has the opposite effect, scratching the windshield, even if you will experience the phenomenon of glass fading or staining due to residues clinging to these scratches.

To be able to fix the scratched windshield, you can use water and wash away the dirt on the scratch. Then dab clear nail polish into the scratches. Wait for about 15 seconds for the solution to dry completely. You can also use polishing solutions to remove light scratches. If the windshield is badly scratched, it is best to have the windshield re-polished by professionals. If the scratches are too severe, replace the windshield with a new one to ensure visibility and safe driving.

>> More details: What Causes Windshield Scratch And How to Fix It?

Blurred windshield

In the long term, the windshield will be the holding net of sand and dust or other dirty subtances on the surface, such as grease and other impurities. At the same time, these impurities will cover the wipers. As a result, wiper efficiency and visibility will be reduced, especially when you have to drive in the rain.

In these cases, you need to clean the windshield regularly with specialized cleaners and wipes.

Windshield turns yellow

This issue happens when you use your car often in the rain or wet weather conditions and leave water on the windshield for too long. Using non-standard car washes also causes the windshield to turn unpleasant yellow.

If the yellow stains have been attached for a long time, ordinary washing water will not be to effective. If the yellow stain is detected in early stage, you can use lemon juice to apply it evenly to the yellow area. Then wipe with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly with water.

If the stains are stubborn, use specilized cleaner solution, or similar homemade windshield washer fluid to clean them. Apply the following:

  • First, absorb the cleaning solution on a towel and wipe the stain on the windshield
  • Leave it for about 10-15 minutes
  • Absorb a damp cloth with water and wipe it evenly to dilute the previously applied solution.
  • Rinse the car with water and dry it.

After applying this method, if you still can’t clean the windshield, you need to bring it to the car care center. Professionals will help restore and remove stains on your car windshield quickly and effectively.

Wrapped Up On How Dangerous Is A Cracked Windshield

We have just grasped through some notices to understand how dangerous is a cracked windshield, and some ways to deal with it. CFJ hopes that you will have some better insight on this issue to be well aware for the cracked glass that can occur at any time soon.