It is highly likely that one day, every car owner will eventually experience a chipped, cracked or smashed windshield. It doesn’t matter how careful a driver you may be, it is impossible to control other road users, or to always know what is on the road surface you drive upon. Even if you are not involved in a crash or accident, your windshield could easily be chipped by a tiny pebble, which is flicked up off the road by the car in front. If you get a chip in your windshield, it is essential that you contact a vehicle glazing expert straight away to get the chip repaired or have a windshield replacement.
If you get a chip in your windshield, it is possible to have some smaller chips repaired without replacing the whole windshield, however if you do not have this taken care of immediately the problem could become much worse. Because the glass is weakened, the chip can easily become a crack, and the crack can propagate and cover the whole windshield. This could easily happen if you went over a bump whilst driving and it could be very dangerous if it obscures your vision when you are travelling at speed. The heat of the water in the car wash is also highly likely to cause the crack to propagate, and water could end up getting into your vehicle. If the crack propagates, you will certainly need a whole windshield replacement.
Although if you get a tiny chip in your windscreen, it may not seem like much, it can actually be illegal to drive your car on the road in some cases, depending where the chip is, and how large the chip is. The rules about what is allowed and what is not allowed differ from country to country and even from state to state, so if you are planning on driving a long distance, it is imperative that you consider windshield replacement for a chipped windshield before you go, in case you are pulled over by the police.
Some chips can badly affect the driver’s view of the road, either by being in their direct line of sight, or by affecting the way in which light comes through the windshield. Light that comes through a chip in glass can be refracted and reflected differently from the light that comes through an undamaged windshield. This means that the position of objects which are seen through this chip could be nearer or further away than they are perceived to be by the driver. This happens in a similar way to if you were to look at an object in a tank of water, then try to touch it and its position seemed to be slightly off from where you thought it was. When you are driving, it is essential that you have the correct perception of the location of all other road users, pedestrians and hazards. If you have a chipped windshield, it is in the interests of safety that you have a windshield replacement as soon as possible.