Driving in the winter means facing numerous hazards, and staying safe means taking it slow and paying more attention to your surroundings and weather conditions. However, not all winter dangers end with dramatic skids and costly tow truck calls. The cold, snowy season can also threaten your windshield, causing damage that's less catastrophic but still costly and potentially dangerous.
Fortunately, you can protect your windshield and help minimize the cost of unavoidable damage. These three tips will help ensure this critical safety component survives the winter intact.
1. Pay Attention to Road Conditions
Road debris is the greatest threat to your windshield. Small chunks of asphalt or rock can cause major damage to your windshield, especially when flung in your direction by a heavy vehicle. While this debris can show up at any time, it may be particularly common during the winter, when freezing and thawing cycles can wreak havoc on roadways.
The best way to avoid damage from flying debris is to pay close attention to road conditions. If a road seems particularly rough or in very bad shape, slow down and maintain a longer following distance from the vehicles around you. Staying further back will help reduce the likelihood of debris hitting your windshield or potentially reduce the damage if you do take a hit or two.
2. Keep Salt and Sand Off Your Windshield
One of the worst parts of driving in the winter is dealing with the endless barrage of salt and sand. These materials keep the roads safe to drive but also make a mess of vehicle paint and windshields. A dirty windshield can make driving more difficult and dangerous, but it can also make it hard to spot small cracks or dings.
While it's easy to let an unhealthy layer of sand and salt accumulate on your glass, it's best to take the time to clean your windshield regularly. Cleaning your windshield will allow you to spot small problems quickly. The sooner you spot problems with your windshield, the sooner you can repair them to avoid more serious damage or even a windshield replacement.
3. Avoid Sudden Temperature Changes
Your windshield will expand and contract with temperature changes, and rapid changes can lead to even small chips turning into severe cracks. Never do anything that will cause your windshield to change temperature quickly, such as dumping warm water on icy glass. Instead, allow your car to warm up slowly, and don't blast hot air at a freezing cold windshield.
Of course, your windshield will be less likely to experience adverse reactions to temperature changes if it's already in good shape. Repairing chips, cracks, and dings as soon as you notice them will give you the best chance of avoiding a catastrophic windshield failure, no matter how cold the temperatures may get.
Reach out to windshield repair services near you to learn more.