When your windshield breaks, the initial shock can make it difficult to know what to do next. If you're in the middle of enjoying a vacation or road trip, the confusion is compounded. How can you find the right services for your windshield and auto body damage when you're away from home?
1. Stop Driving
Your first step is to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers. Find a safe place to park your vehicle. Move to the breakdown lane on the side of the road, find a rest stop, or choose a parking lot. Try to find a location that is easily identifiable with landmarks or street signs. Even if the damage doesn't obscure your vision too badly, it's not a good idea to go more than a few blocks with a broken windshield.
2. Clean the Car
Once everyone is out of the vehicle, remove as much broken glass from the interior as possible. Wear thick, rubber gloves while removing large shards of glass from the seats, carpets, and dash area. Use a damp sponge or cloth to pick up tiny piles of glass dust from around the impact around. Vacuum beneath seats to ensure all dangerous debris is removed.
3. Contact Your Insurance Carrier
Call your insurance provider. Give them the details of your accident for any potential claims. Ask the representative about any services like roadside assistance or towing that might apply to your situation. You should also ask for information on shops in the area that accept your insurance as payment.
4. Apply Temporary Solutions
If you have to drive your vehicle after windshield damage, take some time to make it as safe as possible. Carefully remove jagged and broken glass from the seal. Use a vacuum to remove smaller pieces inside of the seal. Cover the window with a clear plastic bag or sheeting secured with duct tape. This quick fix will help you get a few miles down the road in relative comfort and safety.
5. Find a Local Repair Shop
Using the recommendations from your insurance provider, start your search for a local repair shop. Be sure to ask questions about how long the repairs are expected to take, pick up and drop off services, and rental car assistance while you wait. Some shops will even tow your vehicle to their service center as part of the repair.
A broken windshield doesn't have to completely ruin your road trip. Keep these tips handy so you're ready to respond to a windshield emergency while you're on the road.
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