- Your windshield is an important piece of safety equipment.
The rigidity of the windshield and its bonds to the car strengthens the frame of the entire vehicle. Additionally, it keeps the roof from buckling in case of a rollover.
Most importantly, it enables the passenger airbag to deploy properly and prevents vehicle occupants from being ejected. Airbags depend on an intact windshield to direct their expansion.
- There’s more than just glass in the modern windshield.
Modern windshields are generally made of laminated safety glass, a type of treated glass, which typically consists of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them for safety.
There have been numerous innovations and technologies used in the evolution of car windshield glass, and today, new features might include rain sensors or display projection capabilities.
- Damaged windshields are among the most common types of insurance claims.
Car insurance covers windshield damage and replacement in most cases through comprehensive insurance, or when someone else is at fault, through property damage liability insurance.
Should you file a claim for a damaged windshield? The first thing to consider is the cost of the deductible versus repair costs. The cost to repair a small chip or crack in a windshield is fairly consistent (just over $100 in most cases), even for high-end makes and models. If your deductible is over that amount, you may be better off paying out of pocket—even small claims can increase your rates.
- You can slow windshield chips or cracks from spreading.
A small chip or crack in the windshield isn’t an emergency, but they’re likely to spread if no preventative measures are taken before it’s professionally repaired.
Moisture, dirt, and extreme temperatures will cause a crack to spread more rapidly. Clear tape, clear nail polish, or strong fast-acting adhesives may be applied on the exterior of the windshield to temporarily slow the spread of chips or cracks. But don’t wait too long to get a windshield repaired—a full replacement is much more expensive!
- An Alabama woman invented the first windshield wiper in 1902.
Mary Anderson (1866 – 1953) was riding in a streetcar in New York City as snow collected on the windshield. The driver was periodically forced out of the vehicle to clear off the snow, which caused travel delays and frustrated Anderson.
When she returned to Birmingham, Anderson got to work. And in 1903, the United States Patent Office awarded Anderson a patent for her Window Cleaning Device.
Your windshield should be easy to see through, but not everything about your windshield is easy to see! We hope you learned something new (and useful!) about this important piece of safety equipment.