The most obvious reason behind your windshield’s presence on your car is to deflect bugs, rain, debris and winds. However, as automotive safety technology advances, so do the uses of auto glass.
So exactly, how important is it to fix a cracked windshield? It’s extremely important. In fact, the windshield acts as a deflector of debris, a ‘backstop’ for airbags, and it even protects the structural integrity in the event of an accident. Read on to learn about the important functions of windshields.
Windshields as Deflectors
The windshield in your car protects you and your occupants from dust, bugs, rocks and other debris as well as UV-A and UV-B Rays. But, that wasn’t always the case. In early automobiles, windshields were constructed of simple window glass similar to your home’s windows. Of course, this relatively thin material was prone to breakage, causing the glass to shatter into sharp little pieces.
The windshield, like much of our automotive manufacturing process, was improved by the work of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Mr. Ford observed an up-and-coming technology referred to as glass lamination in which a windshield assembly consists of a layer of cellulose (which constitutes the majority of plant cell walls) sandwiched between two pieces of glass. When the glass was fractured by debris, the adhesive middle layer helped to maintain the shape of the windshield and prevent shattering.
Windshields as Information Screens
More and more vehicles are being manufactured with Heads-Up Displays, or HUDs, which reflect an image against your windshield to display information like speed, the time, or about upcoming obstacles or dangers. The benefit of positioning the display as such is to allow the operator of the vehicle to read this information without diverting their eyes away from the road.
It is still under debate whether the Heads Up Display model is safer than traditional displays; but what is not up for debate is the role windshield play in the safe operation of a vehicle.
How Auto Glass Protects You in an Accident
Aside from the lamination process making the glass safer in the event of an accident, there are other considerations for the windshield to be designed the way it is. One of the lesser-known reasons why it’s important for us to have windshields is that often they are designed to be a ‘backstop’ for the airbags, directing them to the proper position to prevent head damage.
Additionally, properly installed windshields contribute to the overall rigidity and structural integrity of the car, especially in the event of a rollover accident. Automotive-grade, industry-leading materials are used to create a bond between the car and the windshield at a molecular level. This helps prevent the roof of the car from caving in if the vehicle were to roll over.
Given these reasons, it’s obvious why Max Auto Glass is so passionate about windshield repair and replacement done the right way. Although the day-to-day uses may be taken for granted, we need our auto glass to be there for us in the event of an emergency.