Cracked Windshields Can Be Dangerous

Cracked and Chipped Windshields Are A Hazard

After a long and cold winter in most parts of Canada, Young Drivers of Canada wants Canadians to check their vehicle windshields for cracks and chips. Windshield damage is a common occurrence for most vehicles, usually caused by a flying rock or other debris. Most drivers ignore these cracks and chips, attributing them them to an insignificant cosmetic problem but safety experts disagree. Driving a vehicle with windshield damage can be serious and even life threatening for drivers and passengers.

Having a chip or crack in a windshield can result in a loss of structural integrity of a vehicle in the event of a front-end collision. The windshield of a vehicle acts as a load bearing structure, where an intact windshield will help to transfer the force of a front-end impact down the chassis of a vehicle. A damaged windshield will not perform in the same way. In addition, a windshield keeps a vehicle’s air bag system in the correct place. If the windshield is damaged and a collision occurs, the air bag system may deploy incorrectly, causing injury to the driver and passengers.

While vehicles are now designed with safety glass to prevent a windshield from shattering and spreading the glass shards in the event of a collision, this does not hold true in cases where a chip or crack has been left over time. In such a case, a weathered crack or chip can minimize or even eliminate the safety feature of the windshield, creating a dangerous situation, even in a minor collision. A small crack or chip can also impair a driver’s field of vision, which will only worsen if not repaired.

Drivers Can Receive Fines For Cracked Windshields

In Canada, there are several laws that cover windshield condition. If you have a cracked or damaged windshield, law enforcement can issue a ticket or if the damage is extensive, order the removal of a vehicle from the road as the damage can impair and cause a distraction for the driver. The regulations cover driver visibility. In Alberta and Quebec, drivers can be ticketed for a windshield that has a “crack or blemish more than 12mm in diameter in the area swept by the wipers.” In British Columbia, if a driver is caught operating a vehicle with a windshield that impairs their vision, the fine is $56, while in Ontario, that fine is $110. Repairing a small crack or chip can save a driver time and money down the road.

The longer a driver waits to repair a windshield, the greater chance the problem will get worse. If you are driving with a cracked windshield, get it fixed. Young Drivers of Canada wants drivers to spread the word, a cracked windshield is an unsafe windshield!

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