If you can’t park your vehicle in a garage or beneath a carport, obviously, your only remaining option is to park it outside. Unfortunately, that leaves your vehicle fully exposed to wear and tear, harsh weather conditions, and incidental damage.


While you can drive safely with minor scratches or dents in the body of your vehicle, driving around with damaged auto glass is downright dangerous. While parking outdoors comes with its fair share of risks, you can take measures to protect your vehicle.


Here are six simple ways to reduce your risk of finding chips and cracks in your vehicle windows and minimize your need for auto glass repairs.


1. Avoid Parking Under Roof Eaves

If you have a garage, but it’s stuffed with all of the extra junk you never use, you probably park your vehicle in your driveway, just a few feet from the garage door.


In winter, when substantial quantities of snow accumulate on your roof, sometimes, that snow gradually melts and forms large icicles that hang from your home’s gutters. While it might seem harmless, ice and snow can do major damage to your windshield if you park your vehicle beneath the eave of your house.


If enough snow accumulates, gravity can force large sheets of it down your roof’s slope. And when snow and ice exit the roof, they can fall directly on your vehicle.


The sheer weight of a large mass of snow can easily dent your vehicle or crack your windshield. A large icicle can do the same thing. If you want to keep your auto glass intact, park a few away from the eave of your house. That way, any ice or snow that falls from the roof will land on your driveway and not on your car. 


Did you know cold weather can damage your auto glass, too? Check out these five auto glass mistakes to avoid during winter


2. Avoid Parking Beneath Old Trees

If you don’t have some type of protective shelter under which you can park your vehicle, you may be tempted to park it beneath a shade-giving tree. But there’s one major problem with parking beneath trees: You never know when a branch might break free.


Obviously, the older and larger the tree, the greater the threat of falling debris. But that doesn’t necessarily mean parking beneath younger, shorter trees is a great alternative. Any branch that falls from a tree could scratch your auto glass or leave a serious crack in your windshield or rear window.


If you want to play it extra safe, avoid parking under trees whenever you can. Not only will reduce your chance of needing auto glass repairs but you’ll also avoid getting paint-damage bird poop on your vehicle.


3. Avoid Parking in Construction Zones

Whether there’s construction going on near your workplace, or you’re having your home remodeled, you should never park your vehicle near any type of construction site. Ladders, power tools, wood fragments, flying debris, nails, screws, and a variety of other debris and tools almost always litter any construction project.


When you park your vehicle close to or in these debris-laden areas, you put it at considerable risk of sustaining accidental auto glass damage. While either the builder’s insurance or your insurance will likely cover the damages, there’s no guarantee the responsible party will even leave a note with contact information.


The last thing you need is to find your vehicle with auto glass damage you didn’t cause and may ultimately have to pay to repair.


4. Refrain From Parking on Narrow Streets

Parking on the curb of a narrow roadway is basically asking for trouble. It only takes one driver who’s not paying attention to damage your vehicle, and unfortunately, not everyone leaves a note.


While you’ll likely end up with a detached side mirror or scratches or dents in the body of your vehicle rather than damaged auto glass, no damage is welcome damage. And if you can dramatically reduce your vehicle’s risk of getting sideswiped by parking elsewhere, why wouldn’t you?


Sure, walking a bit longer might not seem appealing in the moment, especially if you're running late. But it’s certainly better than footing the bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of body or auto glass repairs.


5. Avoid Parking in Run-Down Areas

Before you park anywhere, take a minute to observe the condition of the other vehicles parked in the area, as well as the general condition of the street. If the area isn’t well maintained or you can see visible body or glass damage on other vehicles, look for a different spot to park.


Avoiding run-down areas is especially important if you’ll be returning to your car after dark. If you’re unfamiliar with the neighborhood, you simply don’t know what to expect. And while protecting your vehicle is important, protecting your own safety is even more crucial.


6. Avoid Congested Areas of Parking Lots

Yes, parking lots are designed to provide you with a safe place to park. But even when you park in a designated lot, there’s no guarantee other drivers will be mindful of your vehicle. And when you park in congested spots, the likelihood of your vehicle suffering scratches, dings, and even glass damage goes up considerably.


That’s why it’s always a good idea to be proactive and park in the least crowded areas of a parking lot. You’ll have to walk a bit longer to get to your destination, but those extra steps could save you from paying for pricey body work or auto glass repairs.


Need Windshield Repair or Replacement in the Twin Cities?

If you’re driving around with a damaged windshield, it’s time to contact our team at Only 1 Auto Glass. Whether you just need a minor rock chip repair or you need a full windshield replacement, our highly trained technicians are at your service. Our team’s 200+ years of combined experience and our multiple locations throughout the Twin Cities make auto glass repairs quick and easy.


To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give us a call at 651-789-1111 today. You can also request a free estimate online, and we’ll get in touch with more information!