Why Is It Unsafe to Drive With a Broken Windshield?
Many of us have driven around for MONTHS with a cracked or broken windshield – putting off the appointment to actually get our windshield replaced. I didn’t realize this was a safety issue until I started working at Alfa Auto Glass. In this post, we’ll go over the reasons why it’s unsafe to drive around with a broken or cracked windshield.
1. A broken windshield obstructs your vision
This may not seem like a big deal, but anything that impairs or obstructs your vision while driving is somewhat dangerous.
That’s why the police and highway patrol will cite you for driving with too many things dangling from your rearview mirror.
Clear vision while you’re driving might be the most important safety system you have. Being able to see potential threats and dangers before they happen is one of the ways we prevent accidents from happening while we drive.
If you remember back to when you took Driver’s Ed, there was this handy acronym: I.P.D.E.
The idea behind this acronym is that you learn to scan everything that’s in front of you, predict what may happen, make a decision on what to do and then execute that decision. I’m pretty sure after years of driving, we naturally carry out this process without having to repeat the acronym to ourselves.
The point is that being able to identify threats and dangers can only happen if we have a clear view of everything that’s in front of us while driving. A broken or cracked windshield detracts from our ability to do this. Get that windshield fixed!
2. The structural integrity of your car has been compromised
Believe it or not, your windshield provides structural support for your vehicle. This is critically important if you’re in a wreck where your vehicle rolls over. Your windshield can prevent your car frame from collapsing in certain scenarios.
For your own safety, and the safety of other people that travel in your automobile, PLEASE get your windshield replaced if it’s cracked. We don’t care who you get to do it, as long as it’s by a reputable auto glass repair service. Just do it!
3. If something bashes or flies into your windshield you’ll have less protection
This is a different scenario than a rollover or crash. Sometimes objects can hit your windshield at high speeds. It could be from:
- Driving off a road and into a protruding object
- Something falling off a truck on a highway
- Extreme wind, tornado or hurricane conditions
Though these are rare events, they can happen. When your windshield has been damaged, there’s less chance the windshield will protect you from these events. Basically, an object penetrating your windshield is more likely to happen if your windshield strength has already been compromised. This can harm or kill you and your passengers. Remember the word “SHIELD” in “WINDSHIELD”!
4. Your ADAS may not work properly if your windshield is cracked
This is more of a recent problem when you get a cracked windshield. Almost all new cars are now installed with ADAS. ADAS stands for advanced driver-assistance system.
Depending on your vehicle this can perform many safety tasks while driving. For instance, your car may brake for you if it detects that you’re too close to the car in front of you. In other scenarios, a child may run into the street and your car will automatically brake so that you avoid hitting the child.
Some ADAS features are integrated into sensors that are attached to your windshield. If you have a crack in front of these sensors, it can either disable your ADAS feature OR make them act incorrectly. This can either be extremely annoying or downright dangerous.
In some states a broken windshield can get you a ticket!
If a windshield crack is obstructing your view, you can get pulled over and get a citation (fix-it ticket). Getting your windshield fixed immediately offsets some of the cost of the fix-it ticket. If you’re someone who values their time, you add the cost of going to court to this time / money calculation.
Is your windshield broken?
If you live in Los Angeles or Orange County, we’d love to replace your windshield for you. We’ve been servicing Southern California since 1988 with speedy mobile windshield and window replacement services. Call us at (714) 323-2672 to schedule an appointment.