There are few situations more frustrating than driving down the road and having a rock shoot up and crack your windshield. Not only is this an annoyance as you drive, but it also can be extremely hazardous. So how do you prevent this from happening? First, you must understand the various causes of cracks in a windshield. 

1. Direct Sunlight. The direct heat from the sun can cause the edges of your windshield to expand more rapidly than the center of the glass, this can result in your windshield beginning to crack.

2. Hailstorms. Some states are known for having intense and violent hailstorms where the hail can be the size of golf balls, resulting in a cracked windshield.

3. Changes in Pressure. If you drive in places that have large gusts of wind, the pressure from the high velocity wind speeds can put enough pressure on your windshield to crack it.

4. Drastic Changes in Temperature. Some climates can change temperatures drastically in just a couple of hours, when this occurs it results in the contraction and expansion of glass, which, in turn, can crack your windshield.

5. Poor Installation. If you had your windshield installed improperly there is a chance it is not secure. When you are driving, bumps in the road can lead to stress on the windshield, resulting in cracks.

6. Loose Rocks or Gravel. If you’re driving on a road undergoing construction, your tires may throw loose rocks or gravel at your windshield. Also, other vehicles on the road (especially semi-trucks) may kick small rocks at your windshield while driving.

The next step after analyzing what causes cracks in a windshield is to determine the proper procedures to prevent these cracks from taking place. Keep in mind there is no solution that will work every time, it depends on how the crack was formed. 

1. Avoid Busy Roads. When possible, make efforts to stray away from busy highways. When there are more cars on the road, there is a higher probability of road debris springing up with enough force to crack your windshield.

2. Drive at Slower Speeds. The faster you are driving down the road, the greater force debris will come in contact with a windshield. There are many reasons to drive the speed limit, this is just one way driving slowly keeps people safe.

3. Park Inside. We touched on this earlier, but drastic changes in temperature and severe weather can cause cracks in glass. For this reason, it is a great idea to keep your vehicle parked in a garage or somewhere indoors.

For further information on keeping your vehicle protected, visit the Tri Glass blog to learn more.