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Here’s What to Do if Your Windscreen Has Shattered While Driving

Windscreen Shatters

Besides a collision, having your windscreen shatter while driving is on the list of things that all drivers hope to avoid. However, if you’ve been lucky enough not to experience this yet, it’s worth knowing what to do in the event it does. After all, with 64% of Australians reporting being involved in a car accident, it’s good to be prepared in the off chance it happens to you.

At Novus Autoglass, we prioritise safety, so today, we are here to cover the steps you should take if you find yourself caught with a shattered windscreen while driving.

What Will Happen When Your Windscreen Shatters?

Depending on the movies you’ve watched, your perception of what may happen when a windscreen shatters will vary. To set the record straight, your windscreen glass won’t shatter like ordinary window glass (what a relief). Now we’re not saying your windscreen can’t shatter, but it won’t shatter into a thousand pieces onto you like some of the movies portray.

As your windscreen is made up of laminated safety glass, your windscreen glass will end up covered in what looks like spider web cracks during a substantial accident. While you won’t have a driver’s seat covered in shards of shattered glass, the cracks will disturb your vision, disabling you from seeing clearly out your windscreen. Now, this is the realistic possibility that poses a danger to you and your passengers.

What to Do if Your Windscreen Shatters While Driving

1. Keep calm (but don’t carry on)

Experiencing a shattered windscreen can be quite a shock to the system and may cause you to swerve or break in surprise. While this may be your natural reaction, we suggest that you try to remain as calm as you can. We know it’s easier said than done, but staying calm will help you think more clearly and help you make quick decisions in a flight and fight response like a car collision.

Windscreen Shatters While Driving

2. Reduce your speed and pullover

After experiencing a shattered windscreen, the first thing you need to do is carefully slow down and stop your car. If you are on a highway or a road with traffic behind you, you should always slow down rather than immediately braking. The last thing you want to happen is to create a domino effect and pile-up of cars behind you. When on a motorway, you can reduce your speed slowly and use the lay-by lane to pull over.

3. Turn on your hazard lights and use your side mirrors

Once you’ve reduced your speed, you’ll want to turn on your hazard lights to communicate with nearby drivers and utilise your side mirrors to look around your surroundings and safely navigate. After pulling over, check for other cars before getting out of your vehicle to inspect the damage.

If a collision with another vehicle caused your shattered windscreen, now is the time to check on yourself, your passengers and the other party. During this time, you swap insurance information and contact details.

4. Get your windscreen repaired or replaced

Following a shattered windscreen, your instinct is to examine the damage. Most windscreens today have a layer of laminated glass that is two sheets of plastic sandwiched between them. If you were unlucky enough to have a deep crack, we don’t suggest you drive to a service station for repair.

Deep cracks are a telltale sign the sheet of plastic has been damaged, meaning there is a high risk your safety will be compromised if you continue to drive. We recommend you call a windscreen repair provider that can come to you or arrange a towing service during situations like this. If the shattering is also in front of your line of view, forget about it. If the accident occurred remotely and there’s no other option to drive,

To recap

1. Keep calm
2. Reduce your speed
3. Activate your hazard lights
4. Check your side mirrors
5. Pullover (if safe to do so)
6. Check your safety
7. Examine your car’s damage
8. Call for help
9. Get your windscreen repaired or replaced

Partially Shattered Windscreen

Can I Drive with a Damaged or Partially Shattered Windscreen?

Whether it’s a chip, crack or partially shattered windscreen, it’s never 100% safe to drive with windscreen damage. As an intact windscreen is responsible for 45% of your car’s safety during a collision, a damaged windscreen loses some of its integrity. Besides potentially disrupting your line of view on the road, damaged windscreens are sitting ducks for further damage.

Any damage to an already compromised windscreen further reduces your safety, meaning you aren’t as protected during accidents. In addition, that windscreen chip repair you’ve been delaying has the possibility of shattering completely upon impact. Besides risking your safety, driving with a cracked windscreen that reduces the driver’s vision or what puts the driver’s safety at risk is also breaking the law. So it’s best not to put the repair on the back burner and call up your local repair service provider.

How to Prevent the Likelihood of Your Windscreen Shattering

You can reduce the chances of your windscreen shattering by monitoring and maintaining your windscreen for chips and cracks (besides prioritising road safety, of course!). Like previously touched on, even small cracks should be repaired sooner rather than later. However, leaving a small chip or crack also can get worse until the issue is addressed.

Simply going over a speed bump too abruptly or reversing off a driveway can see your windscreens spread, where you might then need an entire windscreen replacement, which will also leave you with a bigger repair bill. The good news is that, on average, a straightforward chip repair is a quarter of the cost of a windscreen replacement, so if you need more reason to book in that repair, this is your sign!

Book in Your Windscreen Repair with Novus Autoglass Today

Novus puts the safety of our customers first, which is why we urge you to book in service as soon as you spot a crack, chip or shattered windscreen. We offer convenient mobile services, so wherever you are during your accident, we can come to you! Rember, delaying your windscreen repair can cause it to spread and get worse, so head online to book your windscreen repair today, or call us on 13 22 43. As well as the Novus blog, our friendly team will be here to help you with any windscreen concerns!