4 Easy Tips To Avoid Auto Glass Damage
Windshield scratches, chips, and cracks are unsightly blemishes that can also make your vehicle unsafe to drive. While you can never completely control all of the variables you may encounter in your vehicle, a few simple habits can significantly reduce your chances of windshield damage. Here are four easy tips to avoid auto glass damage that every driver should know.
1. Take Advantage of Covered Parking
Your windshield isn't only in danger when you're on the road. Hail, tree branches, and other falling objects can easily cause cracks or chips while your vehicle is parked. Although the windshield plays an important role in supporting the structure of your vehicle, it isn't as durable against pinpoint collisions.
Drivers who are trying to be extra cautious about preventing windshield damage should use covered parking as much as possible. In areas that are prone to extreme temperatures, covered parking that shields your vehicle from the elements will also help to prevent windshield cracks caused by temperature changes.
2. Follow at a Safe Distance
Flying rocks and other debris are a constant danger to your windshield when you're on the road. Unfortunately, the tires from the vehicle in front of you are a common source of flying objects. If you maintain a safe following distance while driving, the chances of a severe impact to your windshield are much lower.
There are two popular methods for judging your following distance when driving. Drivers who feel more comfortable judging by distance should leave at least one car length of space in front of them. Alternatively, you may estimate your following distance based on time: it should take at least a few seconds to reach the car in front of you if the car stopped and you continued at your current speed.
3. Assess Driving Conditions
Hail isn't the only weather effect that can damage your windshield. Sleet and severe cold can cause your windshield to crack, and any precipitation or fog can reduce visibility and make it harder to avoid unexpected damage. You may want to reconsider your trip if current weather conditions make it difficult to judge your following distance.
In addition to weather concerns, you should take note of the number of drivers on your route. The busier a road is, the more opportunities there are for stones and debris to damage your windshield. Choose roads that are less occupied and stick to paved roads as much as possible. Online mapping and navigation tools are great resources to find real-time traffic updates for your preferred route.
4. Maintain Your Windshield Wipers
As the only part of your vehicle that is in direct contact with your windshield glass, well-maintained wipers are central to a healthy windshield. Microabrasions can form in wiper blades as they wear down over time. These abrasions can cause scratches that gradually worsen as you use your wipers. Most wiper blades should be replaced at least every three months, or sooner if signs of wear appear.
Like wiper blades, wiper fluid is essential to protect your windshield and prevent unintentional damage from your wipers. Wiper fluid reduces friction between your wiper blades and windshields to help prevent scratches. Softening dirt, mud, and other stuck-on grime with wiper fluid allows you to quickly clean your windshield without scratching it or damaging your wiper blades.
Auto glass damage reduces the safety of your vehicle, and it is likely to get worse over time. Use these tips to minimize the risk of auto glass damage to your vehicle, and don't hesitate to visit a local auto glass shop if your windshield has cracks or chips that need repair.