Why You Shouldn't Drive with a Chipped Windshield
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Why You Shouldn’t Drive with a Chipped Windshield

You probably know the shock of driving down the road and suddenly hearing a rock hit your windshield. It is impossible to avoid, especially if one does any driving on a highway or interstate. But, is a chip a big deal? It’s an irritation, to be sure, especially if it is right at eye level. If you’ve ever tried to look at beautiful scenery through a chipped window, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

It’s important for you to know that a tiny chip in your car windshield can quickly turn into a crack. And that crack can endanger the integrity of your car. But, most importantly, it could endanger you and your family. Thankfully, fixing a windshield is quick and inexpensive. But first, let’s consider why should you think twice about driving around with a chipped windshield.

1. Dramatic Iowa Temperatures

With significant changes in temperature throughout all of our Iowa seasons, our car windshields expand and contract. The repeated freeze-thaw-freeze cycles and the snow and ice that can get into windshield chips provide a perfect environment to spread a minor chip into a crack. You may think, “But, it’s just a chip?!” We understand it may seem like a small deal. But, it can rapidly become a driving hazard.

2. Impending Cracks: Anytime and Anywhere

We just don’t know when it’s going to happen. But, it can happen quickly, even with chips that have been there for years. You could be driving down I-80 and suddenly see a jagged crack that can spread across your windshield like a bolt of lightning. Since you don’t know when it’s going to happen, it’s best to take care of minor chips sooner rather than later.

3. Structural Vulnerability

Think of a strategically placed beam in your house or a pillar in a cathedral. Your windshield is a lot like that in relation to the structure of your car. Your windshield isn’t just a piece of glass that creates a view and protects you from getting hit with bugs and flying debris while you drive. It is a key part of the structural strength of your vehicle, especially in smaller cars. In a crash or a roll-over accident, the windshield supports the roof, preventing you from being crushed and from being thrown from the vehicle. The windshield also ensures the proper deployment of airbags.

4. Citations

If a chip is large enough, or if a windshield crack decreases your line of sight, you could be ticketed. Current Federal regulations require drivers to have a clear vision of the road. Windshield cracks or chips smaller than ¾” in diameter are permitted if they are not located within 3” of another crack.

Drivers need to remember the following:

  • The windshield must provide a clear vision.
  • It is up to the discretion of the ticketing officer whether any cracks or chips in the windshield prevent clear vision.

5. Time and Expense

When you hire professionals to correct your windshield chip, they have the experience and tools to get it done quickly. Most chips can be filled in 10-15 minutes. Your windshield will look like new – you won’t even know the chips were there.

It takes more time to fix a crack and many cannot be repaired. You may need to replace your entire windshield, which adds to the cost if you don’t have insurance coverage. This process can take even longer if you have an older car or a rare model. They may have a hard time finding a windshield to match your vehicle.

Save your money and time by taking care of that pesky chip sooner rather than later. If you have glass coverage on your insurance policy, you may not have to pay anything for the repair.

6. View = Safety

Most of us hate chips in our windshield because they infringe on our view of a beautiful sunset or other picturesque scenery. However, experts say that drivers driving with a damaged windshield are more likely to get into an accident. That tiny chip can do a lot of damage, distracting and distorting our view of the road.

In conclusion, your windshield is vital to your safety and the integrity of your vehicle. We want to encourage you to get any chips repaired as quickly as possible. Feel free to call us anytime you have questions. We will be happy to refer you to a trusted windshield repair company.

Sources of citation information:
https://crackedwindshieldlaws.com/iowa/
https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/windshield-laws-in-iowa-by-valerie-mellema