What to Do When Your Windshield Gets Cracked
No matter how careful you are when you’re driving, the unexpected can happen at any time. The last thing you need is to end up with the hassle of a broken windshield when you’re in the middle of your morning commute. If that crack is severe enough to significantly reduce your visibility, it creates a driving hazard that makes it unsafe to continue your drive. Even if you think you can manage, you run the risk of getting hit with a fine if you’re pulled over.
When it comes to dealing with a damaged windshield, planning ahead is your best bet for managing emergencies. Check out these pointers from our Duluth and Superior auto windshield repair pros at Zenith Auto Glass to manage your next windshield emergency. Keep our number in your phone and contact us when you need emergency windshield replacement services.
Plan Ahead for a Windshield Emergency
Before you set out on the road to run your kids to school or head to work, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for a safe ride. Just as you make sure your insurance is up-to-date and you take the time to check your mirrors and gauges before driving, take the time to plan for windshield emergencies.
Add our phone number to your phone under emergency contacts, and be sure to do the same for teen drivers and other family members of driving age. Additionally, place our contact information in your glove box next to your insurance card and let your family members know it’s there.
Know the Damage Will Increase
Windshield cracks do not just improve over time; the truth is they will worsen, especially as the temperature drops into the cold months. The fluctuations of cold and heat can cause any moisture in the glass to contract and expand, which means the crack can begin to spread and become a much larger problem.
Get It Repaired Quickly
Driving with a cracked windshield becomes a visual distraction and could get you a fine if a police officer believes the damage is bad enough. In addition, your windshield helps maintain the structural integrity of your vehicle, but if you experience a collision, the glass can shatter, causing more injury to everyone in the car. This means getting the repair done as fast as possible increases the vehicle's safety and can help you avoid getting a ticket.
Practice Safe Driving
The best way to handle a cracked windshield is to avoid getting one altogether if possible. Although some windshield accidents are unavoidable, many could easily be avoided by following a few basic common sense driving practices.
First, never follow another car too closely. Instead, be sure to give your car plenty of room behind the vehicle in front of you since chips and debris can fly up from the road and hit your windshield. For best results, follow the three-second rule. Choose a stationary object that’s ahead of you on the side of the road and start counting when the car in front of you passes it. Be sure you’re able to count to three before reaching that object to determine if you’re following too closely.
Additionally, avoid parking under trees or close to hanging icicles as these can potentially present falling hazards. Even a smaller icicle or branch can cause considerable damage if it impacts your vehicle at a certain angle or speed.
When an Accident Occurs
Even if you’re extremely careful, a cracked windshield can happen when you least suspect it. Before you worry about contacting auto glass replacement services, your first concern should always be the safety of yourself and your passengers.
Follow these steps once your windshield has been cracked:
1. Immediately pull over to the side of the road.
There is a reason it’s illegal to drive with a broken windshield that obstructs your view. Whether it’s a damaged front windshield, side window, driving with anything that limits your ability to see could lead to errors in judgment and collisions.
If you’re driving on the highway or a busy street and an object cracks your windshield, immediately put on your turn signal and direct your vehicle to the shoulder of the road. Put on your hazard lights to alert other drivers to your presence. If your broken windshield was caused by a collision, make sure everyone inside your vehicle is safe and secure in their seats.
2. Record the damage.
After checking on your passengers, carefully exit your vehicle to assess the condition of your vehicle. Look around your car’s paint job and other windows to make sure there’s no additional damage.
Use your phone to take plenty of pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. Consider making a video recording as well to get a record of your first-person account while it’s fresh on your mind.
3. Determine the extent of the damage.
Check your vehicle both inside and outside to determine how serious the damage is. If the crack in your windshield is minute enough that it doesn’t interfere with your view or require windshield replacement, your vehicle is safe to drive to your destination.
During your drive home, keep your hazard lights on and be sure to drive below the speed limit. Call to schedule a windshield chip repair right away as even minor damage can worsen rapidly depending on factors like weather conditions and the type of crack.
4. Avoid touching your windshield.
If you’re not far from home, it may be tempting to apply some sort of adhesive and “limp” home. Common DIY fixes include the application of superglue, packing tape, or clear nail polish.
The idea behind these quick fixes is to prevent dirt and debris from getting into the windshield until you can have it repaired. However, attempting to apply any sort of temporary band-aid can actually worsen your issues or even lead to injury.
5. Contact Zenith Auto Glass
If the crack is less than six inches, chances are you will only need to repair it, but if it is larger, a replacement may be the recommended option. When you reach out to us, be sure to have any auto information available, so we understand your needs, and you can use our convenient online form to set up the replacement or repair services.
6. Get an appointment scheduled
Once you contact us for an appointment, a technician will reach out to you as soon as we receive your information. We have mobile repair services, and we will work with your schedule to help make the process as simple and streamlined as possible to get your car back on the road safely.
7. Wait for the glass to cure
We will also call you before your scheduled time, to ensure you are ready for the appointment. And once the repair has been completed, you will need to wait for the glass to cure before you can get back out on the road, which typically takes about an hour.
Fast, Professional Northland Windshield Repair Services
If you have a windshield or side window repair emergency, call us and we’ll do our best to complete your auto glass repair right away. If we can’t fit you in immediately, we’ll work with you to make sure you’ve got a ride and your car is safely secured.
We can contact your insurance company and arrange a loaner car so you won’t have to be without a ride. We’ll arrange for pickup on your vehicle, complete the repair and ADAS calibration, and vacuum up every bit of glass like it never happened.
We’ll do our best to have your ride picked up, repaired, and returned to you within a matter of hours! Connect with our friendly, helpful staff to schedule your Northland windshield replacement services by calling us at 218-275-5555 or contact us on the web. We look forward to making your windshield replacement a breeze!