QUICK GUIDE TO CRACKED WINDSCREENS
Your vehicle’s windscreen has been designed with safety in mind. Nevertheless, if it does become cracked or smashed, you will have to do something about it as soon as possible. Check your vehicle’s insurance policy because many vehicle insurance policies cover a windscreen a bit like a bonus, without you having to pay for excess.
Windscreens are important for the integrity of your vehicle. Most vehicle designs rely on the windscreen for integrity in the case of a rollover. A damaged windscreen loses its integrity. Even a small crack needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Never think that it is safe to drive with a cracked windscreen.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE A CRACKED WINDSCREEN
The first thing to do is slow down without panicking and stop your vehicle. If you are lucky enough to have a crack that is less than 10cm, there is a good chance it can be repaired without replacing the whole windscreen. I recommend placing clear tape over the crack on both sides of the windscreen to prevent extra dirt and moisture getting in the crack. This will increase the possibility that you can have the windscreen repaired.
Now, it is not possible to get a windscreen repaired immediately if you are some way out from help. There are also some things you should avoid while you are on the way to getting it repaired. Sunlight has a big impact on the strength of a windscreen, especially when it is cracked. Avoid parking in direct sunlight because it will greatly weaken the windscreen.
The same goes for your defroster or air conditioning. The extreme changes in temperature can cause the crack to get larger or the windscreen to completely fail. I suggest you avoid using them on a high setting and only use them if you really need to. Nevertheless, never use either the defroster or the air conditioner in your vehicle on a high setting when you have a cracked windscreen.
Remember, it is never safe to drive with a cracked windscreen. Unsealed roads are the biggest cause of broken windscreens. If that was the case, you probably won’t have much choice but to continue on. The only way to deal with this situation is to slow down, which you should have done in the first place.
Windscreen repairs and replacements should only ever be performed by licensed professionals. Even if it looks like an easy job to repair your own windscreen, don’t risk trying to do it yourself. Even if you think you did a great job, without the professional licensing, you have just voided your vehicle’s insurance.
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