While small cracks in car windshields may not appear to be much more than cosmetic issues, they can cause motor vehicle accidents and may raise the risk of serious injuries in a crash. It is important for people to get windshield damage repaired as soon as possible. A car’s windshield helps protect the occupants in front-end collisions and serves an important role in the proper deployment of side airbags. People who are involved in rollover accidents are also likelier to suffer injuries when their windshields are cracked.

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Windshield Damage

The Insurance Journal reports that windshield damage is the number one type of damage claim that is filed with insurance companies. In the U.S., windshield claims account for 30 percent of all filed claims. Cracks along the edges of windshields account for 70 to 80 percent of windshield claims each year. When windshields are replaced, 63 percent are for cracks that are less than 12 inches long. Windshield damage is normally caused by flying debris such as gravel or other small items while people are driving.

Windshields Should be Repaired

Damaged windshields should be repaired or replaced for several reasons. When a windshield has a crack, it can fail in an accident. In front-end collisions, the windshield helps absorb some of the forces that are released in collisions. When cracked, the windshield might shatter inward towards the car’s occupants. The forces might then be absorbed by the people who are inside of the vehicles.

Windshields also play an important role in how side airbags deploy. In a crash, the side airbags bump into the windshield so they can properly inflate to protect the vehicle occupants. When there is a crack in the windshield, the side airbag might break the windshield and inflate through it instead of toward the vehicle occupants.

Windshields are also important for maintaining the structural integrity of vehicles when they are involved in rollover accidents. They can help prevent the roof from caving in on top of the people who are inside. When they are cracked, windshields are likelier to give way and cause much greater injuries, according to accident attorneys Las Vegas.

People who fail to wear their seatbelts have an increased risk of becoming ejected in accidents when their windshields are cracked. Instead of getting stopped by the windshields, they may be propelled through them.