Stop DrivingFirst thing's first— you shouldn't drive with a cracked windshield. Windshields are designed to provide protection from extreme impact and debris—the same forces that can cause them to crack or chip over time. Thankfully, most modern windshields are designed to hold together even when cracked. They have two layers of glass laminated together so that, even if one layer is damaged, the laminate and the other layer of glass will still hold everything together for a while. That said, even a small crack compromises the structural integrity of the glass; it's not an immediate danger, but you should avoid driving until the glass is replaced, especially if the crack is large or near the edge of the windshield.
Call Your InsuranceNext, you'll want to get in touch with your insurance. Depending on our policy and how the windshield cracked, windshield replacement may be covered or partially covered by your insurance provider. Windshield replacement or repair is typically covered by your comprehensive coverage but the cost of windshield replacement is determined by your deductible. Thankfully, your insurance premium will not go up after a windshield claim with most insurance companies but you should always talk to your insurance company about any out-of-pocket costs and potential long-term impacts to your policy.
Schedule Windshield RepairNext, you'll want to call your mechanic for windshield repair. The size, the location, and the number of cracks will determine whether the glass can be repaired, or if it needs to be replaced entirely. If you're a Western Mass local, you can make an appointment online with V&F, or give us a call!
Don't Forget To Check Your WipersAfter your windshield is repaired or replaced, don't forget to check your windshield wipers for damage, too. Simply slide your finger along the rubber to feel for cracks or divots, and then visually inspect the body to check for any bending along the frame arms or detachments at joints or connection points.
Read More: Replacing Torn Windshield Wipers