The Common Causes and Dangers of Windshield Cracks

When it comes to driving your car safely, having a windshield with a large crack in it is a no-no. Not only is it against California law to have a windshield that’s cracked or shattered enough to impede your vision, but in the event of an accident or natural disaster, your car is that much more susceptible to shattering completely and causing extra damage to you or your interior.

Luckily, Autobahn Collision Center has two Torrance locations for you to replace your windshield or auto glass. Whether it’s your front or back windshield or a passenger window, we have the tools to get your repair or replacement done quickly and get you into a safer, law-compliant vehicle


Common Causes of a Cracked Windshield

There are a few reasons your windshield might be cracked to the point of needing a full windshield replacement. Many times, people don’t even realize what caused their window to crack. If you’re not sure, here are a few of the more common scenarios:

  1. A pebble hit your window at some point — This is the most common reason that a crack begins to form and part of the reason you might come outside on a particularly cold morning and wonder how a sizable crack got into your windshield. If you’re traveling down a country road, then you may be hit with a rock big enough that the resulting crack would be noticeable immediately. However, more often in urban areas such as Torrance, a pebble will hit a person’s car and result in a crack that just isn’t noticeable because it’s not in your line of vision. In these situations, a rapid temperature change expanding that crack could result in a crack that appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
  2. Nature — Broken or cracked windshields are the most popular claims to be filed with car insurance companies. Part of the reason our vehicle’s windshields are so commonly replaced is because of the unpredictable habits of nature. Hail is possibly the most common way that nature can break a windshield or windowpane. However, strong winds can cause things to fly and fall into your car. Plus, unexpected earthquakes in California could take your windshield from a small crack to one that impedes your driving ability.
  3. Accidents and Break-Ins — An accident or break-in is never expected, but a cracked windshield is often the result.

The Dangers of a Cracked Windshield

Cracked windshields may seem innocuous at times — if you can see out of it then it shouldn’t matter, right? The problem with that thinking is that it doesn’t take into account the repercussions of having a cracked windshield and having something else go wrong. Like many things in life, if you don’t fix the problem early on, it could have greater costs than the money you would have spent on a replacement. Here are a few reasons that you should have your windshield or other auto glass replaced if it is cracked:

  1. Your safety if you get into an accident — Cracked windows and windshields shatter easier than ones that aren’t cracked. If you get into an accident with a windshield that’s already cracked, the danger to your eyes and other soft tissue raises significantly. Flying glass could be deadly, even in an accident that was relatively mundane.
  2. Weather — As we’ve already mentioned, cracks in your windowpane or windshield make them more vulnerable to shattering. When you’re battling through a storm, it’s terrifying to see your windshield slowly cracking, just hoping that it doesn’t shatter completely. In a hail storm, or even just in windy conditions, things can collide with your windshield. Once you get past a certain point of cracking, then there’s no telling which ball of hail or flying object will be the one that comes through your window or windshield completely. It’s not just storms, either; rapid changes in temperature or even just large bumps are a threat to shattering your windshield once it gets past a certain point.
  3. Insurance Repercussions — Insurance is a great reason all around to have your windshield replaced. If you have comprehensive coverage, then you’re likely covered for any windshield and glass replacements. However, if you don’t get the windshield repaired or replaced in a timely manner when the cracking occurs, then both car insurance and health insurance companies could deny claims that result because of the glass shattering completely.
  4. Getting a Ticket — As we’ve stated, it is illegal in the state of California to drive with a windshield that impedes your line of vision. There’s quite a bit of leeway in that definition, so whether or not you get a ticket could be left to the discretion of the police officer that you encounter. If you get a ticket, there’s obviously repercussions behind it, including a fine and possible jail time if you avoid dealing with it. To avoid the extra costs that come with getting a ticket, you should be proactive about dealing with your windshield replacement. Otherwise, you could be on the hook to spend more than you would have if you had just gotten the windshield replaced.
  5. A Loss of Structural Integrity — While it may not seem like the state of your windshield would affect the strength of your vehicle, the extra support your windshield provides could be critical in the event of a major accident. In the event of a rollover scenario, the strength of your window panes and windshields can help hold up the frame of your car. Much like the scene from Jurrasic Park, once your windows shatter, the rest of your frame is more likely to be crushed. Granted, a dinosaur probably won’t crush your car, but the fact that most of a car’s weight lies in the bottom could be enough to crush the passenger cabin and cause death or serious injury to those inside.

Get Your Auto Glass Replacement with Autobahn Collision Center

If you’re not yet convinced that a full windshield replacement is something you need, then we’re going to guess it’s because your windshield isn’t cracked at all. Otherwise, it’s always a good decision to have a windshield replacement done proactively, as it could save your life, your time, and your money. If you think you need a replacement, but you still have some questions, then be sure to fill out our convenient contact and question form. We’ll gather the background information we need and call you back with answers to any questions you might have and an estimate of the cost. Whenever you need an auto glass replacement in Torrance, call the team at Autobahn Collision Center for competent care that you can trust and a company that works with most major insurance carriers.