Windshield damage is common here in Florida. Between our constant construction and road debris and far too frequent automobile accidents, windshields bear the brunt of our automobile-focused society in Florida. If you have experienced windshield damage, you may be confused about whether it’s better to replace your windshield or if a repair will do the trick.
The real answer is it depends. Whether you replace or repair your windshield will have everything to do with whether the damage inhibits your visibility or the structural integrity of the car. A repair will also be dependent on the location, size, and depth of the damage that you are repairing. When your car has sustained windshield damage, there are a few things you need to consider.
How Safe is My Windshield?
As in all automobile structural repairs, you want to ensure that the safety of the vehicle has been maintained. While driving with a cracked or chipped windshield may not seem that dangerous, that may be far from the truth.
Your windshield system supports the structural integrity of the roof of the car and has an impact on whether the car will be able to sustain an accident or rollover. If your car has sustained a damaged windshield, a repair may not restore the integrity of the car’s roof and safety systems.
Does the Damage Inhibit My Visibility?
If you are driving with a windshield that is cracked across your line of vision, this can be dangerous, particularly at night or in inclement weather. Repairing the glass across your line of vision may also distort the way the light reflects off it. Getting a windshield repaired if the damage is within your line of vision – generally the main surface covered by your wipers – may not be as good a solution as getting your windshield replaced.
Where is the Damage Positioned?
If your windshield has sustained a crack close to the frame, technicians generally will recommend that the windshield be replaced. Any damage close to the corner or edge of the glass is particularly subject to the stress and vibration of the car as it travels across different surfaces. These cracks can quickly become worse with little provocation.
Not only can a crack undermine the safety of the car, it can also affect the technology components such as sensors, automatic braking, and other systems that are embedded in the windshield itself.
Repair Vs. Replacement
When it comes to repair vs. replacement, there are some common rules of thumb.
A windshield can be repaired if
- Repairing the damaged windshield will not reduce the safety and structural integrity of the roof and safety systems
- The crack being repaired does not exceed 12 inches
- The chip being repaired is less than 1 inch in diameter
- The outer layer of the glass is the only thing that is damaged
- The damage is not near the outer perimeter of the glass
A windshield must be replaced if
- The damage inhibits the diver’s visibility
- The windshield has a crack longer than 14 inches
- The windshield has a chip larger than 3 inches in diameter
- All layers of the glass have been broken
- The damage reaches a corner or edge of the glass
Florida’s Windshield Replacement Law
Fortunately, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage, Florida has a windshield replacement law that allows you to get a replacement for free with no deductible if you have potentially dangerous damage to your windshield.
If you have been injured in an accident that resulted in the damage to your windshield, you may also be entitled to compensation for your injuries as well as any damage to your car. At Ged Lawyers, LLP, our Boca Raton personal injury attorneys may be able to help. Call us at (561) 562-4170 or contact us on our website contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss a potential claim