Chunks of cement or rocks can hit the windshield of your car without warning. If you’re lucky, it’s a small piece that will only crack the glass. You might still get lucky like the woman who was knocked unconscious by a huge chunk of concrete. She eventually recovered from her injuries. While those are extreme cases of concrete hitting the windshield and can’t be avoided, there are ways to prevent damage to your windshield.
1- Distance to Trucks
Most of the time, rocks fly from the back of trucks or large vehicles. Whether it’s a garbage truck or one hauling gravel, debris can shoot from the truck and hit your car’s glass. These vehicles have large tires with tread that can kick rocks from the road into your windshield too. If you keep your distance on the highway, you can avoid these projectiles, so that you don’t end up having to repair or replace your windshield.
2- Pay Attention to the Distance from Other Cars
While it makes sense to avoid trucks since they can kick up rocks and debris from the road, the same is true of other vehicles. It could be loose gravel on the roadway or a construction zone that causes the debris to be in the road. It can’t hurt to stay a few car lengths back from the car in front of you in hazardous areas. This is especially true when you see construction workers on the street. They’re doing something to disturb the road, which can lead to dirt or rocks that are loose.
3- Look Ahead on the Road
It might be impossible to scan the road all the time, but you can be more aware of overpasses and problems in the roadway ahead of you. As you’re driving, be ultra-aware of your surroundings as well as what’s happening in the road. If you see a broken area of the overpass ahead, it’ll be easier to change lanes to keep yourself from passing under that bad area. You want to be able to avoid problems before they come flying at your windshield.
4- Reduced Speed
When you’re driving on the highway, you should reduce your speed. It’s more likely for debris to hit your windshield hard enough to chip when you’re driving fast. Pebbles frequently kicked up by other traffic will bounce harmlessly off the window when you’re driving slower. When you’re driving slower, you’ll have time to swerve to avoid potential problems too. You’ll be able to see hazards that should be avoided and have plenty of time to change lanes.
5- Weather Reports
Damage to the windshield doesn’t come from rocks alone. Storms involving hail can cause serious damage to the windshield. High winds and torrential downpours mean that branches can become projectiles as they are ripped from the trees. It’s best to stay off the streets when you know a major storm is headed your way. If you can’t avoid driving, try to make sure you’re heading out before the storm hits you with all its fury.
6- Check Windshield After Driving
If you’ve ever ended up with a chip or a crack, it might have come as a complete surprise to you. After every drive, you should do a visual scan of your windshield. You want to be aware of cracks or chips before they turn into a larger crack that causes damage you can’t easily repair. It’s unfortunate, but you can’t always avoid cracks and pits in the windshield, but if you can catch it early, it can be repaired without having to replace the entire glass.
Stay off the streets during a major storm with hail or high winds. Branches and other debris can fly into the glass and cause serious damage and injury if it’s large enough. Keep your distance from cars in front of you and avoid driving behind trucks if you can. Always check your windshield glass after a drive to see if there’s a crack or pit that needs to be repaired.