Windshield

A Certified Windshield Technician Can Save You from Being Crushed in a Rollover

If you've ever thought your windshield was just a big piece of bug-catching glass, think again. Proper installation of your windshield can mean the difference between safety and disaster if your car is ever in an accident.
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Why is the windshield of your car important? We all know it keeps bugs, debris, wind, and a variety of flying objects from slamming into our faces as we drive down the road, but did you realize that when it comes to your windshield, your car’s very integrity is at stake?

Most of us do not realize what an important role the windshield plays in protecting our very lives. According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, in a front end collision, the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin in your vehicle and in a rollover, it can provide as much as 60%. This could mean disaster if your windshield was not properly installed. Should your windshield fly out, for example, YOU could be the one taking the brunt of the collision! As the AGSC explains:

The windshield is an integral part of the safety restraint system in your car. It keeps the roof from crushing in on you in a rollover, it allows the airbags to deploy in the correct position to cushion passengers, and prevents you and your family from being ejected in a serious collision.

Have you ever wondered why the windshield shatters into that spider web-like pattern when it does break? The windshield is not simply a big piece of glass, as some drivers may think. Rather, it is two sheets of glass held together by an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). When shattered, the glass is held together by the PVB, thus protecting the driver and any passengers from being cut by shards of broken glass.

Too often, car owners may put themselves in jeopardy by choosing the cheapest windshield repair option over a certified technician. Some of the seemingly most unimportant details are actually huge mistakes when it comes to installing a windshield. For instance, did you know that if a technician installs your windshield without wearing mechanical gloves, the grease and oils on his hands could keep the adhesives from creating a proper seal? And not using the full range of proper bonding agents can also cause the seal to fail. So, how can you protect yourself? In fact, see the best mechanical gloves that auto mechanics and car guys say they like.

Safewindshields.org suggests five questions for consumers to ask before choosing someone to replace their windshield. Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council Inc., indicated for TorqueNews readers just what answers they should be looking for when asking these questions.

Always, Levy agreed, ask a company if they are an AGSC-Registered Member Company; consumers can check this with their zip code, she indicates, at Safewindshields.org. AGSC keeps the list current, generally updating each week. Consumers should also be sure that the company they choose uses materials that meet or exceed the AGRSS Standard, ANSI Z26.1 and all pertinent FMVSS Standards.

In addition to being a AGSC-Registered Member Company, the shop you choose should use AGSC accredited installers, as well. Levy elaborates:

AGSC provides a certification program for installers as well, so ask if a company's technicians are certified. And don't forget to find out by whom. You'll get a variety of answers. Some companies even say they certify themselves! AGSC is the only industry-wide independent certification program. Please note, if someone tells you they are certified by an insurance company, that is most likely not true. To our knowledge at this point in time, no insurers certify auto glass installers.

It is also important, Levy explains, that you ask how soon after your glass being replaced you’ll be able to use your car. “The answer to this question is a very good indication of a shop's commitment to safety. All the adhesives used in auto glass installation require ‘drying time’ of as little as one hour or as long as several days. Quality shops generally will tell you before they start how long the vehicle must sit before it can be driven. This is very important for your safety.”

It is also a good idea, Levy says, to see if the shop offers a warranty on its work.

The windshield of your car may seem like an insignificant bug-catcher at first glance, but it is actually very important to your safety and the safety of your passengers. Be sure only qualified professionals get their hands on your glass!

Other safety articles of interest on TorqueNews:
Create Your Own Emergency Car Care Kit
Securing Pets in Car Reduces Driver Distraction, Increases Passenger Safety
These 4 Things Should Be Your Goals During Distracted Driving Awareness Month


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