Nobody likes having to deal with a cracked windshield. Driving around without first repairing the damage is not safe, and the crack can easily spread, taking the damage from repairable to non-repairable in an instant. Not all windshield cracks are preventable, but that does not mean you should not try. Here are four strategies you can use to help prevent your windshield from cracking and chipping.
1. Never pour hot water on your windshield to defrost it.
This is a remarkably common way to damage a windshield. When it's frozen and covered in ice, it may seem like pouring hot water over it would be a fast way to defrost it. However, the sudden change from cold to hot can cause the glass to crack. You may not notice the crack at first if it is small, but it will become more apparent when you drive the vehicle and it warms up inside. Always turn on the defrosters and give your windshield time to defrost slowly.
2. Keep your tires in good shape.
A lot of rocks that end up striking and breaking windshields are actually tossed up by your own tires. If you keep your tires in better shape, rocks will be less likely to get caught in the tire tread and then tossed up towards your vehicle. Check the tread on your tires every 1,000 miles or so by placing a penny in the tread. If the tread is not deep enough to cover Lincoln's head, you need new tires!
3. Give large vehicles space.
When you come across a large vehicle, like a semi-truck, on a highway where there are some loose debris and gravel, stay back and keep your distance. Wait to pass the truck until the highway smooths out and there are less gravel and debris around. Steer clear of smaller trucks that have mud flaps, too. The mud flaps may fling gravel up towards your car as you pass.
4. Choose the more traveled path.
There may be times when driving down a gravel road is inevitable, but there are other times when you have the choice. Always choose the more traveled route or the smoother, better-maintained road. There's no sense risking a broken windshield if you can get there on a safer route -- even if it takes a few more minutes.
Hopefully, if you follow these tips, you won't have to deal with many broken windshields. Reach out to an auto glass company like Martin Glass Company for more tips.