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family smiling in car behind windshieldWhen you think about the role of windshields as it relates to safety, the obvious answer is that they protect you from dust and other from striking you as you drive. However, there is a lot more that windshields do for car safety, including providing structural integrity to the car itself. Today's cars are meticulously designed to be as safe as possible, and the windshield plays a big part in ensuring that they are safe for passengers. Let’s look into some expected and some unexpected ways windshields make cars safer.

 

Assists With Safety Restraint

Along with your car's air bags and seat belts, the windshield is designed to help keep the car's occupants inside the vehicle. In a collision, the seat belts prevent ejection and the airbags cushion impact. The windshield provides another physical barrier to help occupants inside the car.

Air bags deploy with great force, and in some cases windshields are designed to help with the deployment. Proper installation is critical to facilitate this intended action. 

Helps Protect Occupants During Rollovers

Rollovers have a higher fatality rate than any other vehicle accident and windshields help prevent damage by protecting the car roof from collapsing easily or caving in quickly. The windshield in a modern vehicle provides much of the support that steel A-pillars did in older cars, and this help to prevent the roof from collapsing.

Visibility And Wipers

Being able to see what is ahead in the road is important to avoiding collisions. In normal conditions the glass windshield provides a clear line of vision.

Windshield Wipers are installed on the windshield to help remove debris, dust, water and other conditions that can impair visibility. If there is any mist or fog build up on the windshields, then the wipers help clear it. The wipers also help in clearing off some amount of snow as well. Without wipers a windshield is incomplete.

Windshield glass

A windshield looks like any other glass window on a car, but a lot of research, tests, and trial and errors have taken place in order to create the perfect windshield for automobiles. The manufacturing process of the windshield glass has evolved over the years, and today the ‘float method’ is used. The early stages of the glass float in a chamber as its cools and cures to form the strong and protective windshield later on.

There are two types of glass that are used in a windshield:

Laminated 

The front of the windshield is made of laminated glass. The glass is made up of 3 layers. PVB is the main material that makes up the middle layer of the glass and it protects from any external objects to penetrate or crack the glass easily. Laminated glass windshield is only on the front for the driver’s and front passenger’s safety.

Tempered

This type of glass is on the side and the back windshields and they are made up of only one layer. This is because the side and rear windshields don’t require as much protection as the front one. But still, tempered glass is quite strong enough to withstand any mild pressure and is very safe. The best thing about tempered glass is that when it’s broken, it shatters into many pieces that cause minimum damage as opposed to big shards that can easily cause cuts.

If you have any questions or concerns about your car's windshield, contact Smiley's Glass to take a look. Visit our website at www.smileysglass.com to schedule an appointment.