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Can a Cracked Windshield Break While Driving?

Nov 1

Can a cracked windshield break while driving?

A crack in your windshield won't just look bad. It can also weaken the structure of your windshield, which creates a road hazard that could lead to injury or even death if you get into an accident.

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The glass inserted into most automobiles is designed to withstand quite a bit of pressure, but once it's compromised by cracking, there's nothing preventing the glass from shattering completely during use. When this happens while driving at high speeds or under other hazardous conditions (such as during inclement weather), the shards scattered on the road could make for some very dangerous driving conditions for you and everyone else on the road.

Can one chipped window cause another window to shatter?

When windows are struck with sufficient force, they may not break all at once. They are designed to be somewhat resilient, but it's not impossible for one small chip or cracks to spread into other areas of the glass.

Can a car window break if something hits it?

A solid object striking one area of your windshield may only cause damage in that immediate area, but in severe cases, an impact can lead to shattering in other regions. No matter how hard you try, there's no way to prevent chips and cracks from spreading in this fashion if they're stuck with enough force.

The situation is much the same with side windows that may get blasted by debris kicked up during driving or large rocks resulting from road construction/repairs. You can't control the size and of every object, you encounter on the highway, so when they're big enough, pieces of them can easily pierce your car's glass in multiple places.

Can a windshield break while driving in cold weather?

Yes. The colder your climate is year-round, the more likely it'll be for rocks kicked up on the road to damage the surface of your windshield during inclement weather.

Thicker fog and frost also act as natural obstructions for objects approaching your vehicle at high speeds, so you may get hit with debris even if it appears small or not substantial enough to puncture the glass.

Vehicles are designed to withstand heat extremes (such as direct sunlight reflecting off metal/asphalt surfaces), so cars that are frequently exposed to extreme temperatures -- whether it's through cold weather or a spot that gets very hot throughout the day -- are more likely to experience damage from debris as a result.

Can a windshield break if it is hit with ice from the road?

A thin layer of ice covering your vehicle's glass can create quite a bit of pressure against the surface, especially when you're traveling fast enough for wind resistance to contribute additional force. Even a small-sized piece of ice has the potential to cause major damage if it hits the glass at high enough speeds, and breaking off even one shard can completely obstruct your view, which may lead to accidents. A coating of wet snow across your windshield is also known as icing up, which can act much like ice under certain circumstances.

What are some ways to prevent windshield breakage?

Your best bet for avoiding cracking or breaking your windshield is driving slowly enough to avoid debris on the road (and for other drivers to get out of your way), thus preventing an impact altogether. Taking breaks during long trips where you may not be able to control traffic around you may help minimize the risk of damage, too, but it's still impossible to eliminate every potential hazardous condition while driving down the highway.

If you do end up with cracks in your glass, don't try to fix the problem yourself. Even small cracks that look harmless could become worse over time, so take your vehicle into a shop right away before things get worse.

Lastly, be sure to equip your car with a windshield wiper fluid reservoir, which should provide you with enough fluid during inclement weather (and low visibility) for rubber wipers to remove any obstructions before they become larger and potentially damage your windshield. Should a rock chip shatter your windshield, the wipers will be able to remove any smaller pieces before they have a chance to spread.

Can a car window break if it falls out of the truck?

A falling car window isn't going to do much damage unless you're unlucky enough for it to fall onto another vehicle or person's foot. In most cases, small chips and cracks only form because of flying debris that strikes your glass. If your window just happens to detach from its frame and start dangling from the arm that holds it in place, then all you'll need is a quick replacement to get back on the road again without incurring additional costs.


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Palm Bay Windshield Shop