The Dangers of Cracked Windshields

The Dangers of Cracked Windshields

They're more than just a nuisance, they can be dangerous. Cracked windshields happen as a result of many different things and often, as a result of situations beyond our control.
They're more than just a nuisance they can be dangerous. Cracked windshields happen as a result of many different things and often, as a result of situations beyond our control. Officers say you may want to think twice before riding down the road with one.

Don’t you just hate it when a piece of flying gravel comes out of no where and lands directly on your windshield? It’s what you do after it happens that’s really important.

"The biggest thing that causes it is usually flying rocks," says Dale Dues of Discount Auto Glass.

On the interstate or highway, you never see them coming until they leave their mark.

Dues says people come in everyday needing a new windshield. But unfortunately, many choose to just postpone fixing that crack. Officers say it's not a good idea. "If you have a cracked window and you're trying to drive, that may cause you to have an accident or run off the road," says Lt. Cody Burk.

They'll write you up. "You could be cited for operating an unsafe motor vehicle," Burk says. That violation can carry a fine up to $250.

A vehicle with a cracked windshield could be more dangerous than you realize. In some cases, your windshield can actually be a support structure. For instance, if you get in a bad accident and you have a bad window, your roof can actually cave in on you.

"On GM and Chrysler, especially on the front end, the impact is driven down to the chassis. We’re told that on Fords, it's driven up through the cab of the truck. The windshield really is an integral part in keeping that truck together for your safety," Dues says.

Additionally, when your airbag goes off, it usually expands toward the window before pushing out to you.

"If you've got broken glass, it comes out with a lot of force, if it takes that windshield out….” Dues says the passenger could be seriously hurt.

Deputies say ever since the state stopped requiring vehicle inspections a while back, more people are driving around with cracked windows. They say it could cost you in the long run.

Many people complain big trucks that don’t cover their loads are a result of their cracked windows. A 2001 law requires covers for loads on recently-built trucks. But some lawmakers want the law to cover all trucks. The last effort to get that done died in a state house committee last year. Some officials have said it would cost counties too much money to go back and make sure all of their trucks have covers on them.
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