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How Did This Happen? Top 3 Causes of a Cracked Windshield

There’s nothing worse than coming out to your car to find a mystery crack in your windshield. When did it happen? How did it get there?

Unfortunately, there are a variety of scenarios that can cause your windshield to crack even when you aren’t in the car. However, understanding how these things happen can help you avoid them in the future.

Keep reading as we dive into the three top causes of a cracked windshield.

1. Road Debris

One of the best tips for avoiding a cracked windshield is learning how to follow behind other vehicles at an appropriate distance. There are countless types of road debris that can be kicked up from other vehicles that cause damage to your car such as gravel, stones, rocks, pebbles, garbage, etc. Even a small chip in the glass from a pebble can turn into a large or spider-webbing crack.

Be as cautious as possible on gravel roads, areas under construction, and any other condition with loose debris on the road. Remember to slow down if someone is passing you, and leave plenty of distance between you and the car ahead of you.

This is especially true when following semi-trucks, construction vehicles, and other large vehicles. Large semi-trucks tend to kick up more road debris than other cars and construction vehicles can drop dirt, debris, and other materials out of the back of their trucks.

2. Temperature Fluctuation

While quality windshield glass can withstand a lot of abuse, sometimes an extreme temperature change can prove too much for its structural integrity. It can be made worse if there is already existing damage. That’s why it’s vital to repair windshield damage sooner rather than later.

Glass expands and contracts with fluctuating temperatures. When the temperature changes gradually, it gives the glass time to react accordingly. However, sudden or extreme changes in temperature make the glass fragile and brittle.

A cracked windshield can occur if you leave your car parked in the sun all day and turn on the air conditioning full blast. Conversely, your windshield can crack on a cold day if you try to defrost the windshield too quickly. Avoid parking in the sun for long periods or using drastic measures to control the climate in the car more rapidly.

3. Inclement Weather

Inclement weather is another common reason you might find your car with a cracked windshield. Since we’ve already talked about extreme temperatures, let’s talk about hail and wind.

Obviously, during a hail storm, your car is going to get dinged up if it’s not under shelter. This can leave dents all over the car as well as chips and cracks in the windshield. If you live an area prone to hail, make sure you pay attention to the weather and have a plan to keep your car protected.

While wind itself cannot crack your windshield, the debris it sends flying around can. Garbage and other windswept debris can be thrown into your car at high speeds. Wind can also rip branches off of trees and careening onto your parked car.

Do You Have a Cracked Windshield?

If you have a cracked windshield, you need to take care of it as soon as possible. Cracks can spread, spider-web, and eventually take over your entire windshield. Don’t wait until it becomes a safety liability.

Contact us today to see what we can do for you.