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Windshield safety tips

The climate found in the Southwest geographical region of the United States provides a number of obstacles that drivers must become fully aware of, to protect their investment and themselves. There are a handful of factors that come into play, which can compromise your windshield's safety. Below are some important facts about windshield replacements, repairs and some of the most common causes of windshield damage in Arizona.

1. Most common causes of windshield damage

• There are a number of factors that come into play that can compromise your windshield's safety. Driving too close behind a dump truck or construction vehicle filled with gravel, rocks or other landscaping material can be hazardous to your windshield. Even dried mud can bounce off a cars bumper and throw debris onto your windshield causing a nick or crack.

• Driving in the desert environment found here in the Phoenix area is the perfect recipe for damage to your windshield. Spinning tires easily kick up the small pebbles and rocks that can fly up and chip your windshield. When this ground surface consists of rocks or gravel, your glass can be in big trouble. Rock environments are dangerous for the safety glass in your vehicle and consequently your safety.

• The high summer temperatures found in the desert Southwest play a big role in compromising your auto glass especially your windshield. Excessive heat has a reputation for causing glass to expand and crack from just a tiny sand-pit to a large crack. Don’t ever pour cold water on your windshield if you have a visible chip and the temperature is over 95 degrees; this will increase the likelihood that your windshield will break and that chip will become a crack.

2. You have options

There are two ways to repair a windshield.

• You can purchase a do-it-yourself kit and try to repair the windshield yourself, which rarely turns out satisfactory. Remember this task takes excellent hand-eye coordination, know-how and patience and luck because some chips are easier to chip than others. If you don’t do this repair correctly, you can be compromising you and your passengers’ safety.

• The other option is taking it to a trained Certified Auto Glass Professional that you can trust. These trained experts have a thorough understanding about auto glass repairs and replacements and how it applies to your windshield.

3. Size does not matter

• All sizes of chips or cracks can lead to windshield replacement. All provide some level of safety concerns to both you and your passengers. When left unchecked, smaller imperfections can easily develop into larger cracks that need immediate repair. Windshields that are cracked can easily spread to a large break that can distract you or can even reflect light like a mirror shinning light in your eyes.

• The windshield is a vital piece of safety equipment on your vehicle; it is the back stop for your passenger side air bag. When your air bag deploys the windshield pushes the air bag toward the passenger to protect the passenger from hitting the dash or windshield. It also helps keep the roof of the vehicle from collapsing in on the first roll over in a rollover accident.

• Window imperfections are distractions that hinder visibility. They can cause you to misjudge distances, experience glare, not clearly see your driving environment and compromise everyone's safety. Looking through damaged windshields can also reduce your response rate to emergency vehicles. Imperfections can also cause physical problems like eye strain, headaches, double vision and other vision-related conditions.

4. Helpful consumer tips for preventing windshield damage

Here are some easy and cheap tips for keeping your windows as safe as possible:

• Keep your distance behind the vehicle in front of you. Remember the three second rule allows for safe following distance in dry road conditions for safety purposes. You never know when you will need to slam on your brakes.

• Carry a roll of clear tape in your vehicle's glove compartment. Put a piece of the tape over any chip or crack as soon as possible. This is a temporary fix to keep water and oil from getting inside the chip and it may keep it from spreading until the repair is made.

• Fix your windshield as soon as possible after any chip or crack occurs. This minimizes expense and damage; do not wash your vehicle until after the chip has been repaired.

Remember that your windshield protects you and your passengers from the outside world. Giving it the respect it deserves is essential for extending your vehicle's useful life and your finances.
Why take a chance on your family’s safety by driving with a damaged windshield?

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