What to Do If Your Windscreen Cracks While Driving
There are a number of causes for windscreen cracks, ranging from poor installation or low-quality glass, through to road debris, bad weather, and extreme temperatures. Getting to your parked car and finding the windscreen cracked is quite an inconvenience, but it is nothing compared to having your windscreen crack while you are driving. And unfortunately, many causes of windscreen cracks are more likely to occur when you are driving.
So, what do you do if your windscreen cracks while you are driving? We explain steps to take to ensure you and other road users remain safe.
1. Slow Down
Chances are that if the cause of the crack is bad weather, you’re either already stationery or driving at a reduced speed. But any other cause can happen at any time, including when driving along at the legal speed limit. When this happens, it is important to immediately reduce your speed limit, and to pull over to the side of the road as soon as it is safe to do so. Remember to put your hazard lights on, and to check for other cars before getting out of your car to inspect the crack.
2. Assess the Crack
Cracks don’t only obstruct your view of the road and surrounding, they also weaken the structure of the glass. Trained professionals know exactly what to look for, but that doesn’t stop you from doing an informal assessment of the damage. Most windscreens now use laminated glass, consisting of two sheets of glass, with a transparent sheet of plastic fused between them. A deep crack could mean the sheet of plastic has also been damaged, with a high risk that the structure of the windscreen is now severely compromised. If the crack appears to be quite deep, do not attempt to drive the car any further, but rather wait for a mobile windscreen repairer to get to you, or have your car towed to the nearest autoglass repair centre.
You should also consider the position and length of the crack. Cracks under 10 centimetres in length can usually be repaired and are also less likely to have weakened the integrity of the windscreen, so you might be able to drive yourself to a windscreen repair centre. But any crack directly in front of the driver, regardless of length, should also keep you from driving your car any further.
3. Get it Repaired or Replaced
If the damage is too severe, or the crack is in the driver’s Critical Vision Area (CVA), call a windscreen repair centre – such as Instant Windscreens – who offer 24/7 mobile windscreen repairs and replacements. One of our technicians will come to you, wherever you are, and repair or replace the windscreen for you. If this isn’t possible, you should arrange to have your car towed to your nearest windscreen repair centre.
If you believe it is safe to drive, you should still call and arrange to have your windscreen repaired or replaced as soon as possible. It is never advisable to put off having a cracked windscreen repaired, since a crack will grow – in depth and length – a lot faster than a small chip, further weakening your windscreen. At Instant Windscreens we can try to book your car in immediately for repairs or replacement or arrange for a mobile technician to meet you at your workplace or at home to carry out the work there. Drive slowly, and with all your car windows up; while it might be uncomfortable, you should also try to avoid using your car’s air-conditioning, since this could put additional pressure on the damaged glass.
As Australasia’s largest independent fitting business, you can rely on Instant Windscreens to have a branch, local service centre, or mobile service close to you. Call us on 132 444 to book your car in for a windscreen repair or replacement, or to arrange for one of our mobile technician’s to come to you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.