Why your windshield is part of your car safety system

Modern cars are extremely safe compared to the vehicles of 20 or 50 years ago. This is due to far higher manufacturing standards which emphasize the need for safety and reliability over style, and which oblige car makers to build vehicles that provide increased protection for the occupants in the event of a collision or crash. Better tires and brakes provide improved handling and stopping, and better material construction and crash-focused design has resulted in cars that can withstand impacts and which crumple in ways that minimize risk to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. However, the three most important components of modern automobile safety are what make up the “safety restraint system”, or SRS. These are the seat belts, the airbags, and the windshield.

Most people could probably have guessed the first two, but the windshield probably comes as an unexpected surprise. The windshield fulfils three vital functions in the event of a crash.

First, it holds the roof of the vehicle in position. It’s taking as much as 60% of the load of the roof. If the windshield pops out incorrectly, the roof will crumple far too quickly, potentially killing or injuring the occupants.

Second, it provides support for the airbags. If the windshield is not firmly fixed in place, the airbags are practically useless.

And thirdly, it helps keep unsecured occupants in the vehicle. In general, you sustain far fewer injuries staying inside than being thrown through the front.

When you’re getting your windshield replaced, make sure the work is being done by an experienced auto glass replacement Seattle specialist. You may save a few dollars going to a cheaper place, but the cost of a poorly installed windshield could work out higher than you could possibly imagine. Ensure you’re going to someone who is approved by the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) and insist on genuine official windshields for your vehicle, not cheap alternatives. If you can get a repair, this is usually preferable: it’s cheaper and you won’t be damaging the original seal between your windshield and the vehicle.

When you collect your vehicle, always check the following before driving off.

Inspect the installation and make sure that the windshield is correctly centered and flush with the vehicle’s body.

Make sure the molding around the edge of the windshield is smooth and unbroken.

Check there are no traces of the old adhesive.

Talk to the technician about how long the adhesive needs to cure for.

Amazingly, despite the vast amount of legislation on vehicle safety, there is practically no legislation regarding auto glass replacement. It’s quite legal to use low quality materials and to offer a poor quality service. It’s up to you to protect yourself and your family by making sure you choose a reputable supplier.

Auto glass replacement experts Glass Doctor of Seattle explain why a correctly installed windshield is critical to your safety. Call 206.337.2376 today for more information on auto glass replacement and repair.

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