What to Do When Your Windshield Cracks
If you're driving down the road and suddenly hear a loud SNAP, that was most likely your windshield cracking. This is something that happens to many people at some point in their lives. Here are some helpful tips if this is happening to you.
1) Pullover safely as soon as possible. If you can't stop where it's safe or legal, slow down until you can.
2) Call for help immediately if anyone else is in the car with you. Accidents do happen even when you're being careful, so have someone call 911 while another person checks on everyone involved. Try not to move any injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury or death – moving them could worsen their injuries and lead to permanent damage.
3) When it's safe to do so, check out the damage. If there are any cracks in your windshield, don't try to fix them yourself because you could make the problem worse and end up with a very large repair bill; call a professional instead. You'll also want to talk with your insurance company before having the work done.
4) DON'T: Drive over 50 mph since broken glass can fly up and harm other drivers and passengers in your car (and they might get very angry if that happens). If you're not able to drive your car safely or legally, stay in your car and wait for help.
5) DO: Check all windows for damage after an accident like this because glass from one window could have broken the windshield. Glass from other windows may have flown into the cabin, which can be a very serious situation if anyone is sitting near those windows.
6) DON'T: Let your kids play with any glass on the ground because it could be sharp and cause wounds that will need a doctor's attention. Keep kids from playing around all of the glass until you've had a chance to clean up.
7) DO: When securing the scene, take photos of everything so nothing gets lost in this stressful situation. In some cases, you'll also want to collect evidence for legal action against an at-fault driver. Be sure to clearly mark anything that may have been moved or changed before these photos – line items should match up to your photos as closely as possible.
8) Remember that if you can't safely drive after a windshield crack, any injuries could escalate with the extra stress of being in a moving vehicle. You may need medical care even though there are no visible signs of injury – it's better to be safe than sorry!
However, there are some injuries that may be present without any visible signs such as concussion, neck muscle strain, and whiplash. If you or a passenger has ANY concern at all about what happened to your car or how you feel after the accident, go see a doctor immediately to make sure everything's okay.
Of course like with any injury, it's important to make sure the injury is not life-threatening and if it is serious seek help from emergency services right away.
Driving with a broken windshield can be dangerous for two reasons:
1) Unseen damage could be causing your windshield to weaken further and increase the chances of another crack; this will create more debris on the road as well as decrease visibility while driving (and don't forget that a windshield keeps you safe in case of an accident, so it's important to have a good one).
2) Your glass could be damaged by another car during the accident and cause more damage to your window if you keep driving. There will be no way for you to know this until after the accident has been investigated by police officers or insurance adjusters. In some cases, the glass from another car will injure someone while they are inside their vehicle. This can happen while you're waiting on help or even while driving away following an accident.
If possible, wait on the side of the road for help. People don't always stop when they see accidents happen right in front of them unless they feel completely safe doing so (i.e.: no oncoming traffic). If you opened your window and waved down a passing driver, they may not stop in time to avoid hitting you or continuing into your car.
Jasmine Estates, FL