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broken car window, an accident on the road.

Avoiding every pebble and other nuisances as you’re driving is near impossible. Roads are littered with unseen risks to vehicles. Your windshield is particularly vulnerable. Here are some key steps to help avoid damage.

Drive the Speed Limit

When you drive the speed limit, the impact of rocks and debris lessens. If you can safely drive a bit slower, especially where there may be known road hazards, this will help to greatly decrease risk of glass damage. By driving slower, you can also assess where rocks may be coming from and avoid them before they hit your vehicle. 

Don’t Tailgate

Tailgating a vehicle is not only unsafe, but it also increases the risk that your windshield will be damaged by rocks and debris. If a vehicle you’re tailgating kicks up rocks on the roadway, it’s likely that those rocks will hit your vehicle rather than first hitting the ground and bouncing off elsewhere.

Avoid Construction Sites and Roadwork 

Construction sites are hazardous and commonplace for debris and rocks. This is because construction workers and heavy vehicles are digging up rocks and moving them about when entering and leaving construction sites. These rocks often get stuck in the grooves of large truck tires, so you should also avoid traveling near construction work trucks on roadways. The orange cones and barrels you see near sites are to limit traffic and warn of high-risk areas of the work zone, but there’s just no way to control the rocks and debris that surrounds areas of the construction site.

Take the Scenic Route

Highways are a great way to get somewhere quick, but if you have a short distance to go, taking the scenic route will help avoid risk of vehicle damage. Highways are typically very high-traffic areas and many rock chips occur on these roadways. Those scenic roadways are not only more peaceful but also safer.

Avoid Gravel Roads

Whenever possible, avoid gravel roads. Gravel roads are obviously made up entirely of rocks (hence the name) which increases the chances that your windshield can be cracked. Other drivers also may not adhere to the speed limit as they zoom down a gravel roadway, which can easily cause your windshield to be hit by their passing debris. If you must travel on a gravel road, drive very slowly and be aware of other traffic passing by. 

Use Caution Around Train Tracks

Trains can easily kick up rocks as they pass by. Avoid traveling near or parallel to train tracks if you can, and if sitting at a train track waiting for a train to cross, keep a healthy distance between your vehicle and the track to avoid rock and debris.  

Tend to Chips

Chips in your windshield are easier to fix than cracks. If you notice a chip in your windshield get it fixed ASAP. Chips or small cracks in your windshield can easily turn into cracks which could mean an entire windshield replacement which is much more costly than repairing a chip in the windshield. 

At Smiley’s we take the time and care to ensure your auto glass is functioning and looking its best. Contact us today for a hassle-free quote at 804-320-7172.

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