One vehicle part that rarely grabs most people’s attention is the windshield. All that most people know is that windshields are made from glass. And also, virtually everyone can tell whether a windshield is tinted.
However, the truth is that there is so much to a windshield – it is more than just a simple vantage point for you as you drive your car. The materials used to make a windshield are specific and designed with strict industry-standard safety measures.
Windshields keep a car’s occupants inside in the unfortunate event of an impact, increase the roof’s strength when a car rolls, and facilitate airbag deployment during an accident. This makes windshields one of the most important safety features in a car. Windshields are very important and should always be kept intact.
The Basics of Windshield Glass
The federal government has set standards for any shop that deals in windshields. They ensure that your car’s windshield is not made from just about any glass. This means that your windshield is not simply made from regular glass.
For glass used to make windshields, heat and chemicals are applied to the glass during its production—the process results in a type of glass that is known as tempered glass. Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) is also added to enhance the ability of the glass to absorb energy during a collision. PVB also provides resistance from damaging objects when you are in a collision.
Tempered glass is also used in windshields for its safety. You see, when tempered glass breaks, it disintegrates into thick, small shapes rather than the jagged shapes produced by the regular glass. And that’s not all there is for tempered glass; it also makes the installation of your windshield easy. Tempered glass is usually bonded to a polyvinyl interlayer which is flexible, clear, and exceptionally strong.
The Protection that Windshields Offer
Thanks to modern-day windshields, people now drive inside vehicles knowing that they are safe. At the turn of the century, drivers sometimes needed goggles or protective glasses on the road.
The main role of a windshield is to protect the occupants of a vehicle. When you are driving, countless flying debris keep hitting your car. Whether or not you are an exceptional driver, there is nothing that you can do about such flying objects because they are all over the roads.
It is important to note that your windshield should be strong enough to withstand both small and not-so-small impacts from materials on the road. Mostly, you will encounter dirt, bugs, flying rubbish, gravel, and small rocks.
Your windshield should remain intact in case you hit another vehicle from behind or find yourself in a fender bender.
Windshields and Airbag Deployment
The windshield of your vehicle has a lot to do with airbag deployment. The speed and strength of a deployed airbag allow it to first bounce off it before heading for the vehicle’s passenger. Your windshield should not detach in the event of an accident. If it detaches, the airbags might not deploy properly, leading to preventable injuries.
Windshield and Roof Support
Windshields are structured to offer support to the roof of your car. In fact, modern vehicles depend on the windshield to prevent the roof from collapsing if the car rolls over from the impact. When your car is involved in a head-on collision, the windshield contributes almost half the structural integrity to withstand the crash. A car could be crushed completely during a head-on collision without the windshield.
Now that you know the importance of your windshield, you want to keep it in great condition. And that means ensuring that it is intact at all times. It is advisable that you contact your auto glass shop if a visible crack or chip shows up on your windshield. Even a small issue can reduce your car’s windshield ability to protect you during an accident.