As any car buff will attest, the shape of the average American vehicle has changed dramatically over the past decades. In addition to smoother fenders and body lines, one of the most pronounced changes involves the way the windshield, windows, and back glass have become more discreetly incorporated into the overall design.
Gone are the days when the glass jutted up sharply at nearly right angles from the hood or trunk area. While some of these changes are related to appearance, aerodynamics, and fuel efficiency, many car owners may be surprised to learn that concerns about safety for the vehicle's occupants was also a driving force.
Auto glass adds structural integrity to the vehicle
Because being ejected during a car crash is widely recognized as exponentially increasing the risk of being seriously injured or even killed, car makers work diligently to design their vehicles with structural integrity in mind. This means that the windshield and other glass surfaces of the car must be able to help absorb the force of a crash and remain in place to help prevent the occupant compartment from collapsing under the stress and keep the occupants inside.
When in good condition and properly installed, the modern glass used in today's automobiles can often withstand the force of many types of accidents and remain in place. However, if the glass is cracked or broken, it is weaken, making it much more likely to give way during a car crash and more likely to result in serious or fatal crash-related injuries to the occupants of the vehicle or even allow them to be ejected upon impact.
Auto glass provides the necessary resistance for air bag deployment
In addition to helping keep occupants inside the vehicle and keep them from being crushed during an auto accident, auto glass that is kept in good condition also helps with the deployment of the car's air bag system. Credited with saving countless lives since becoming standard equipment in most automobiles, air bags must have a solid surface to aid in proper deployment.
Windshields that are in good condition provides the correct surface to ensure that air bags deploy properly and protect the driver and front seat passengers during front end collisions. If the glass is cracked, however, the force of the air bag will often push the windshield out of position and prevent the air bag from deploying to its full potential.
If your car's windshield has become cracked or received a rock chip, it may not be able to offer structural integrity or assist with air bag deployment in an accident situation. Contact windshield replacement specialists in your area to assess your vehicle's glass repair needs and help you keep your family safe.