When you hear car companies talk about vehicle safety features, they rarely mention the windshield. And while it looks like every other piece of glass, it functions differently.

As your cruising down the highway at 65 miles per hour, it is easy to forget that the only thing standing between you and roadway is your windshield. But you will be happy to know that there have been massive technological advances in windshields over the past several decades and they are now a main safety feature of every modern automobile.

It is estimated that more than 40,000 Americans are killed each year in car crashes. Of those deaths, 30 percent are caused when a driver or passenger is ejected from the vehicle. The windshield is one of the most important safety features on your vehicle and it should not be taken for granted. Proper care and maintenance is important.

In modern vehicles, the windshield is considered to be part of the vehicle's safety restraint system (SRS) along with seat belts and airbags. This system is designed to keep passengers inside the vehicle during a collision. If one or more of these features is damaged or inoperable, the results can be catastrophic.

Your windshield is comprised of three parts:

1. A thin sheet of glass on the exterior;

2. A thin film of plastic sheeting in the middle; and 

3. Another thin piece of glass on the interior.

The plastic film in the middle of the two pieces of glass acts as a shock absorber and doesn't allow the windshield to completely shatter. But cracks or chips in the glass can have serious consequences and should be addressed immediately. If you vehicle is involved in an accident, the chip or crack creates a weak point in the SRS and can render the safety benefits of your windshield useless. Seemingly minor damage can be disastrous if to cared for properly.

To ensure your car performs to the best of its ability in an accident, especially head-on collisions and roll-over collisions, the factory-installed windshield should be properly maintained. Repair chips and cracks immediately will help ensure your windshield’s factor seal remains intact and the windshield itself maintains its integrity.

If you choose to replace your windshield altogether, it is important the work is done by a certified technician to ensure the job is done in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines.

For more information on windshield repair or replacement, call us at 651-789-1111. Our windshield replacement experts at Only 1 Auto Glass are here to assist you so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.