Windshields And The Winter Holidays: Four Points To Consider

In addition to shopping for gifts and creating travel plans, you should ensure that your vehicle's windshield is repaired and ready for the holiday season. The cold weather and increased number of impaired drivers of the road make windshield safety essential during this time of the year. Here is a look at why you should repair your chips and cracks before the holiday season, as well as some points on how to avoid new cracks and chips:

1. Cold Weather Encourages Windshield Chips to Spread into Cracks

According to a number of laboratory tests, windshields chips are more likely to spread into a crack the colder the weather is. On average, it normally takes a year or two for a chip to spread into a crack, and ten percent of chips never seem to crack.

However, when the weather is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the chances of a chip spreading to a crack increase to roughly 59 percent. As the weather goes down to 23 degrees, that probability increases to 70 percent, and it is 81 percent when the weather is 14 degrees. Taking care of a chip now before the cold weather turns it into a crack is essential, especially if you want to have a cheap and fast repair.

2. Scrapping Dirty Windshields May Cause Scratches

In addition to repairing cracks and chip, take some steps to prevent the appearance of new ones. Windshield scrapers are designed so that they do not hurt the glass of a windshield. However, if you scrape the ice and snow off of a dirty windshield, there is a chance that you will move around dirt or debris that could scratch your glass.

Prevent this by keeping your windshield clean. If you run the washer fluid over the windshield when you are done using the car for the day, you can be assured that there will be no scratchy dirt or debris on your windshield when you return to your vehicle the next morning. Alternatively, consider covering your car when it is parked outside to protect it from ice or debris.

3. Flying Ice from Other Cars Can Damage Your Windshield

Unfortunately, you also need to think about how thoroughly other drivers are cleaning the ice off their cars. If other drivers don't clean the ice off their vehicles, it could place you and your windshield in danger. This affected one driver in Collin County, Texas.

As she was driving down the road, the ice from atop of an SUV in the next lane flew off of that car and onto her windshield, shattering it. Unfortunately, there are no reports as to the condition of the victim's windshield prior to the impact. However, a crack-free windshield is less likely to break on impact, and if your windshield is in perfect condition, you may be able to weather an incident like this one without as much damage.

4. A Clear and Repaired Windshield Makes It Easier to See Impaired Drivers

Holidays aren't just about cold weather and flying ice; they are also about people who may party too hard and get behind the wheel anyway. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol increases every holiday season, and although it is difficult to protect yourself completely from the irresponsibility of impaired drivers, you will have an easier time responding and maneuvering if you can see clearly through your windshield.

According to tests of drivers of all ages, a damaged windshield impairs your ability to see the road, especially in the dark, but it also slows down your reaction time. Drivers with severely damaged windshields take up to 8.5 percent longer to react to driving challenges than drivers with damage-free windshields. That means that if you are sharing the roadway with an impaired driver, both of your reaction times will be slowed, and the results could be deadly.

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