What to Do If Your Windshield Cracks on the Road

Windshield Crack

Picture this – you’re happily cruising down the highway, belting out to your favorite tunes, when suddenly, a rogue pebble decides to launch an unexpected attack on your windshield. Before you know it, there’s a crack creeping across the glass. It’s one of those unwanted surprises that come with owning a vehicle. So, if you find yourself with a cracked windshield while on the road, don’t panic – we’ve got your back. Here’s a handy guide on what to do if your windshield cracks while you’re out and about.

Ensure Safety First

The first and foremost thing to do after your windshield cracks is to ensure your safety and the safety of other motorists. If the crack obstructs your view or distracts you, pull over as soon as it’s safe to do so. Try to find a well-lit area where you’re visible to other drivers. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other motorists of your situation.

While it might be tempting to try and minimize the crack right away, it’s critical not to touch or apply pressure on the affected area as it may cause further damage. Remember, safety always comes first – everything else can wait.

Evaluate The Damage

Once you’ve pulled over safely, it’s time to assess the damage. Start by figuring out the size and depth of the crack. Windshield cracks can range from small chips that are barely noticeable to large cracks that span the length of the windshield.

If the crack is smaller than a dollar bill, it can typically be repaired instead of requiring a full windshield replacement. Take a clear photo of the damage for reference and for reporting purposes if needed. This will help when explaining the situation later to insurance or repair professionals.

Contact Your Insurance Provider

Next, reach out to your insurance provider to report the incident and find out what your policy covers. Some insurance companies will waive your deductible for windshield repair or replacement, while others may not cover such expenses at all. It’s key to understand what you’re entitled to before moving forward with any repair or replacement procedures.

Be ready to provide your insurance agent with basic information such as your location, how the crack occurred, and the severity of the damage. Forward them the photo you took, if necessary. This step is vitally important as it sets you up for the next steps in the process.

Seek Professional Help

After speaking with your insurance provider, it’s time to seek professional help. While there are quite a few DIY kits available on the market that promise easy fixes for windshield cracks, it’s best to leave this task to professionals. There’s a high chance that an improper repair could lead to bigger problems down the line, resulting in more costs.

A company like Discount Auto Glass can help you best if you live in the Portland area. They specialize in both windshield repair and replacement and offer fast booking and service in the Portland Oregon area.

Temporary Measures While Waiting For Repair

If you can’t get your windshield repaired immediately, there are some temporary measures you can take. These won’t fix the crack but can help prevent it from spreading further. One common method is using clear packing tape over the crack on the outside of the windshield – remember, this is only a temporary solution and is not suitable for large cracks or holes.

If it’s cold outside, try to park your car in a garage or another covered area to avoid temperature fluctuations that could worsen the crack. Similarly, avoid slamming car doors or driving on rough roads until you’ve had the crack repaired.

Is It Cheaper To Replace Your Own Windshield?

Prevention is Better Than Repair

Lastly, it’s worth considering how you can prevent windshield cracks from happening in the first place. While you can’t control every pebble on the road, there are a few precautions that can limit your risk.

Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially those carrying loads or driving on gravel roads. Regularly clean and inspect your windshield for minor chips and cracks, so they can be repaired before they turn into larger problems. Lastly, ensure your windshield wipers are in good condition and replace them as necessary to avoid scratching the glass.

While no one wants to deal with a cracked windshield, knowing what to do when it happens can take some of the stress out of the situation. Remember, safety always comes first – so pull over, assess the damage, contact your insurance provider and seek professional help. In the meantime, look to temporary solutions to prevent further damage until you get it fixed.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a small windshield crack turn into a larger problem?

Yes, a small windshield crack can gradually become larger due to factors such as weather changes, jolts from rough roads, or even the pressure from car washes. It’s important to address even small cracks promptly.

2. Is it legal to drive with a cracked windshield?

The legality of driving with a cracked windshield varies depending on local laws. However, it is generally considered unsafe and not recommended.

3. Does car insurance cover windshield repair or replacement?

Insurance coverage for windshield repair or replacement depends on your policy and provider. Some insurers may waive your deductible while others may not cover such expenses at all. Always check with your insurance company.

4. Can windshield cracks be repaired, or does the entire windshield need to be replaced?

The feasibility of repairing a windshield crack depends on its size, depth, and location. Typically, small chips or cracks can be repaired. However, larger or more complex damage may require a complete replacement.

5. How long does it take to repair a windshield crack?

The time required to repair a windshield crack can vary based on the size and complexity of the damage but generally, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

6. Can I repair my cracked windshield myself?

There are DIY kits available for minor windshield repairs, but it’s usually best to leave this task to professionals to prevent further damage or improper fixing.

7. What are temporary measures I can take if I can’t get my windshield repaired immediately?

If immediate repair isn’t possible, you can prevent the crack from spreading further by applying clear packing tape over the crack or parking your car in a covered area to avoid temperature fluctuations. Remember, these are only temporary solutions.

8. What causes windshield cracks?

Windshield cracks can be caused by a variety of factors such as flying debris, weather changes, and even temperature fluctuations inside the car.

9. How can I prevent windshield cracks?

Preventing windshield cracks involves maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, regularly cleaning your windshield, and promptly repairing minor chips and cracks.

10. What information will my insurance company need for a claim?

Your insurance company will likely need your location, how the crack occurred, the severity of damage, and possibly even pictures of the cracked windshield.

11. Can hot weather cause my cracked windshield to get worse?

Yes, extreme temperatures and direct sunlight can cause an existing crack in your windshield to expand.

12. Can cold weather cause my cracked windshield to get worse?

Yes, cold weather can cause windshield cracks to spread due to contraction of the glass.

13. Is it possible for a cracked windshield to shatter?

A cracked windshield is unlikely to shatter completely due to the laminated glass used in their construction. However, the structural integrity is compromised which could lead to larger cracks over time.

14. How much does it cost to repair a windshield crack?

The cost of repairing a windshield crack can vary widely based on the size and location of the crack. Always get an estimate from a professional service provider.

15. What if my windshield is cracked during a trip? What should I do?

If your windshield cracks during a trip, ensure safety first. If the crack obstructs your view or distracts you, pull over when it’s safe. Don’t touch the area and call your insurance provider to find out your coverage. Then, seek professional help for repair or replacement.

Final Thoughts

As the journey concludes, it’s clear that maintaining your car – and specifically, your windshield – in top condition is vital for safe and enjoyable travels. Unexpected situations like a cracked windshield can be daunting, but with the right knowledge, you can handle them with ease. Remember to prioritize safety, understand your insurance coverage, and trust professionals like Discount Auto Glass for repairs or replacements. Also, consider preventative measures to minimize risks in the future. Safe travels!

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