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Important Functions Your Windshield Performs

Windshields aren’t made from just any old glass. The materials used for your car are very specific, industry-standard and designed with strict safety standards in mind - including the windshield. It’s more than just your vantage point as you navigate the road, this type of glass is meant to protect you and your car in case of an accident. Windshields keep people inside the car should there be an impact, help facilitate airbag deployment, and even increase roof strength should the car roll.

Here are a few other factors that make windshields one of the most important safety features of your car - and why you should always use a reputable, experienced shop for all of your autoglass needs.

Windshield Glass Basics

Federal government regulations have made sure that all shops use only high-quality glass. Your windshield isn’t just regular glass. Heat and chemicals are applied to strengthen glass while it’s being made, resulting in something known as tempered glass. This process makes glass stronger, so it can resist flying debris and other damage. Also, if tempered glass breaks, it breaks into thick small shapes, rather than jagged edges for safety. The kicker is also in the installation. Tempered glass should be bonded to a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer, which is exceptionally strong, flexible, and clear.


The number one thing a windshield does is protect people inside the car. As you drive, plenty of flying debris is hitting the exterior of your car. Your windshield should be strong enough to endure rocks, bugs, gravel, dirt, and other flying rubbish. The same goes for small impacts. If you find yourself in a fender bender or hitting the back of another car, your windshield should stay intact. As a fun fact, you may notice old/turn of the century ads for cars featured drivers in goggles or protective glasses. Thankfully, that’s not the standard anymore!

Airbag Deployment

Your car’s auto glass actually has a lot to do with airbag deployment, especially for passengers. Basically, if your windshield or other glass isn’t installed properly, it can detach in the event of a crash. If the windshield detaches, the airbags won’t properly deploy and you may end up with preventable injuries.

Roof Support

The front glass frame is built to structurally support the car’s roof. Older vehicles were built differently, with A-pillars that helped keep the roof intact should there be a serious accident. Modern cars rely on the windshield to make sure the roof doesn’t collapse if the car rolls over on impact.

Good glass in the car also helps reduce highway noise, improves aerodynamic performance, and increases gas mileage. If you have an issue with your car’s auto glass, or you simply want to make sure your older model complies with AGRSS (federal standards for auto glass), call the experts at Smiley’s Glass in Richmond, VA. We’ve served VA residents for more than 50 years.

Smiley’s professionals are all licensed and trained to perform proper windshield replacements on any kind of vehicle. For any questions, call us at 804-320-7172.

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Richmond, VA 23225


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