“No person shall drive a motor vehicle upon a highway, (a) unless the windshield and the windows on either side of the compartment containing the steering wheel are in such a condition as to afford the driver a clear view to the front and side of the motor vehicle,” the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, section 74 (1) states.
What if the chip in your windshield doesn’t affect your vision when driving? Should you keep on driving or have your windshield repaired or replaced? The damaged auto glass will likely need immediate replacement or repair, depending on the severity of the damage. It could lead to more serious problems and even cause an accident if it isn’t addressed.
Safety Risks of a Damaged Windshield
The chip on your windshield may not affect your driving, but the flaw could get larger. When this happens, your road safety could be compromised. A damaged windshield can obstruct your field of vision, which can cause distraction. Reports show distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in Canada.
A damaged windshield could also prevent your airbags from working properly. It may not be able to support the force of an inflating airbag since cracks can weaken your windshield. When the windshield breaks during the inflation, your airbags are likely to expand outside your car rather than toward you.
Cracks make your windshield easier to break from the inside. In case of collision, you’re likely to be ejected from your car because your windshield no longer has the strength to prevent it.
Managing a Damaged Windshield
A specialized garage can fix damaged windshields. Professionals will apply transparent resin into the chip, harden it by applying heat, and polish the surface. After this process, your windshield will look new again and ready to hit the road.
In some cases, however, your windshield may need more than a repair. Your windshield would require replacement at some point, especially if the chip:
- Has become a crack
- Exceeds 12 mm in diameter
- Is in your line of sight
- If there is more than one chip
Over time, the chip can compromise the integrity of your windshield. It will then give you less protection when you’re driving.
Given the importance of replacing a damaged windshield, some car owners struggle to pay for its cost. Replacing a windshield could cost about $700, without windshield replacement insurance.
Does Your Insurance Cover Windshield Replacement?
Drivers in Canada are required to have an auto insurance policy. Otherwise, you have to pay a fine amounting to $5,000. Not all auto insurance, however, cover windshield replacement. Insurance companies offer policies that provide different coverage.
So it may be best to look into comprehensive auto insurance. The coverage of the insurance varies, depending on your provider. But it typically covers payments for losses, except those covered by Upset or Collision auto insurance. The coverage also pays for perils or dangers stated in Specified Perils, falling or flying objects, vandalism, and missiles.
This type of insurance can also cover the costs of replacing damaged glass or windshield, making it a rewarding investment. Once your windshield shows a chip, don’t wait until it becomes a bigger problem. You might have to spend more now, but at least you minimize your risk of life-threatening accidents.