Your windshield is one of the most essential components of your car, not only because it provides a barrier that protects you and your passengers from flying debris, dust, and inclement weather but also because it’s a major part of your car’s structure that protects you in case of an accident. Because your windshield is so essential for your safety on the road, it’s important to keep it clean and inspect it regularly for any chips or cracks. 

Cracks in your windshield aren’t just minor annoyances—they can quickly grow and turn into serious safety hazards, so it’s just as critical to be proactive and take measures to keep your windshield from getting cracked in the first place. Although you can’t always predict when you’ll encounter situations that could cause windshield damage, there are a few steps you can take to avoid them as much as possible.

Inspect Your Windshield Regularly

You may not notice tiny chips or cracks in your windshield when you’re driving, so get into the habit of checking it on a regular basis for any signs of damage. Getting minor issues repaired quickly can keep them from turning into major problems that require you to completely replace the windshield. Windshield repair for most small chips and cracks can be done in less than an hour, so it’s well worth the effort to identify them as early as possible.

Drive Carefully

No matter when or where you’re driving, leave plenty of distance between your car and the vehicle ahead of you. This is a fundamental rule of safe driving because it minimizes the risk of an accident if the car in front of you slows down or stops unexpectedly. It also reduces the risk of having flying debris hit your windshield because most of the time, rocks and other types of debris come from vehicles traveling ahead of you. 

In particular, if you’re driving on a gravel road, leave even more distance between your car and the one ahead of you. Even on well-maintained roads, it’s possible to get gravel damage, so slow down if you notice even small bits of gravel flying around or you’re throwing gravel into the air yourself. Try not to drive behind construction vehicles because they’re often hauling rocks, dirt, and other materials that can fall off and harm your car. 

It’s always important to pay extra attention to driving carefully in weather conditions such as rain, high winds, and snow, not only for safety reasons but also because wind and water can carry objects that will damage your windshield. Hail may not be a common occurrence in San Diego, but you may find yourself driving in it at some point. If you do, slowing down can reduce the force of the impact on your windshield. If possible, pull over and park your car in a covered location that can keep your car from being hit directly by the hailstones. 

Avoid Extreme Fluctuations in Temperature

Another way to prevent a crack in your windshield is to protect it from extreme variations in temperature. When a windshield experiences a rapid temperature change, both the glass and its metal frame will expand and contract, and these processes can place enough pressure on the windshield to cause it to crack. 

If it’s very cold when you start your car, don’t turn the defroster on full blast as soon as you buckle up. Instead, turn the heat up gradually to prevent your windshield from cracking. 

Extreme heat can also cause damage to your windshield because it makes the glass expand. The seal and the casing around the windshield will also absorb the heat and transfer it to the glass, which can make a chip or crack even worse. Heat alone isn’t likely to cause your windshield to crack, but it can reduce its stability, and even a minor impact could cause a major crack. Whenever possible, park your car out of direct sunlight. 

Preventing windshield cracks may seem like a difficult task, but these tips can help. Unfortunately, even the most careful drivers may experience windshield damage, so if you do find a crack or chip, don’t wait to have it repaired by experienced professionals. Count on the pros at Liberty Auto Glass for all your automotive glass needs. We’ll ensure your glass is repaired with the highest standards of service, which is why we offer a lifetime warranty on labor and a one-year warranty on stress cracks. Our services include mobile windshield repair, so call us today at (619) 381-7710, and we’ll get you back on the road quickly and safely!