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281 Speers Rd, Oakville L6K2G1

Tips to Minimize Windshield Damage

Unfortunately, we cannot be in control of every variable we face on the road. Exposure to extreme weather, poor road conditions, and proximity to heavy-vehicles are three of the primary causes of damaged windshields, and drivers typically have limited control over these factors. Even the most defensive driver has been caught in a storm, boxed in by transport trucks on the highway, or forced down a gravel road by the insistent automaton voice of a GPS system. Though some things are out of our hands, there are some preventative measures and good driving habits we can adopt to steer clear of windshield damage headaches.

1. Be discerning about who you follow on the road, and keep back a safe distance

To distill this tip into a single line, you should never tailgate. This is especially true of heavy-duty trucks and gravel transports, whose drivers are sometimes neglient about tying down protective tarps. Many of these tarps are not maintained, so that even when tied in place they allow dirt, rocks, and debris to fly freely. Tailgating should be avoided even when heavy trucks are not present, however. Any roadworthy vehicles’ tires can kick up grit, and following them closely does not give the debris a chance to decelerate before impact.

2. Avoid exposing your windshield to rapid temperature changes

Windshield damage occurs as a result of external stresses, which does not only refer to blunt trauma. Sudden temperature change puts considerable strain on the glass, and can cause minor chips to rupture into irreparable cracks.

In the summertime, avoid blasting your windshield with jets of cold water during washes, or direct gusts of air conditioning on hot days. Before washing your vehicle with cold water, you should cool your car gradually by parking in a shaded area and rolling down the windows. Allow your car to sit for 10-15 minutes before rolling up the windows and starting your wash. When using your air conditioning (or heat and defroster settings during the winter months), point the vents away from the windshield and towards your face or feet when possible.

3. Avoid rough driving conditions

Though often easier said than done, failing to avoid rough driving conditions can cause the windshield to flex and put it at risk of cracking. However, it is possible to minimize jarring impacts on even the worst of roads with a little effort and awareness. Keeping road safety in the forefront of your mind, you should make every effort to avoid potholes when possible. It is also important to decelerate when travelling over speed-bumps, down gravel roads, or through hailstorms in order to minimize the severity of impacts.

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