Driving a car with a cracked windshield can mean more than a simple aesthetic flaw or minor annoyance. A cracked windshield is a safety risk to you and your passengers. Damage to a windshield may affect your ability to drive and how your vehicle may respond in a crash.
Depending on where its situated, the windshield crack may cause an obstructed view of the road or the driver's surroundings. No matter where the crack is, it is likely that a driver will looks at that spot to navigate through traffic. Cracks in the windshield can be large enough to cause a blind spot. Since reaction time is of the utmost importance while driving, a blind spot can cause you to strike another car, an animal or a person crossing the road.
When an airbag deploys, particularly a passenger-side airbag, it strikes the windshield in many models. If a windshield is cracked, it may not be strong enough to withstand the sudden impact of the airbag from inside the vehicle. If the windshield fails, the airbag may not deploy properly, and the passenger could sustain unnecessary injuries. According to windshield expert website GlassDoctor.com, a driver should consider the airbags broken if the windshield is cracked in some vehicles.
The windshield can compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle's cab if it is cracked. Windshields are designed to fit tightly into place and reinforce the stability of the car's roof. According to SpeedyGlass.com, the windshield and rear window play an important role in supporting the roof of a vehicle. If an automobile is involved in a crash and rolls onto its roof, a cracked windshield will make it easier for the weight of the car to collapse on the seating area--and the people in those seats. The thick windshield glass, without a crack, helps to reinforce the roof so that it stays in place when more force is added to it.
Seat belts are the primary restraining device in a car, but an uncracked windshield could serve as a backup. Should a seatbelt fail to work properly, or if a driver is not wearing one, the windshield acts as a barrier to keep the driver or passenger's body from being thrown out of the car. The chances of survival in a crash are significantly less when someone is thrown from a car, according to TeenDriverImprovement.com.
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