causes of windshield cracks

While cracks in your car’s windshield can be a hassle as they can make it more difficult to see properly when driving, it’s inevitable that you will likely deal with a cracked or chipped windshield at some point in your life. While windshields are designed to withstand a great deal of wear and tear, they are still made of glass and can be prone to cracking. 

However, many people are surprised when they discover a crack in their windshield that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. To help you better understand why windshields crack, and what you can do to protect your car’s windshield, here’s a look at a few of the most common causes.    


Extreme Temperature Changes

One of the most common reasons for windshield cracks is extreme temperature fluctuations. The problem is that glass expands when it is warm and contracts when it is cold. While automotive glass is designed to withstand the thermal strain that regular changes in weather can cause, extreme shifts in temperature can result in cracks. If the weather is below freezing one day, and the next it reaches 70+ degrees, this extreme temperature change can cause your windshield to crack. 

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to minimize the risk associated with temperature changes.Parking your car in a garage if possible can help reduce the impact extreme temperature fluctuations can have on your vehicle. Additionally, due to the strain drastic temperature changes can have on glass, make sure that you avoid using hot water to try to defrost your windshield in the morning, as this can cause the glass to crack.  



Direct exposure to sunlight on hot days can be another reason why your windshield may seem to spontaneously crack. When the sun’s rays hit your car, this can cause the metal and other materials surrounding your glass windshield to heat, which can cause the glass at the edges of your windshield to expand quicker than the glass in the middle, resulting in cracking. You can mitigate this problem by parking your car in the shade or in a covered space on hot days. 


Driving Behind Construction Vehicles

It’s always alarming to have something hit your windshield, suddenly causing it to crack. Perhaps the most common reason windshields crack is as a result of debris being thrown onto your car while you are driving. While these incidents are sometimes unavoidable, there are steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood that debris will damage your windshield while you’re on the road. 

One of the most common causes of windshield cracks on the highway is driving behind construction vehicles. Large trucks and construction vehicles are more likely to kick up gravel and debris on the road, and if you are driving behind them, this debris can crack your windshield. Avoid driving behind these trucks when possible, and if you are stuck behind one of these trucks, give yourself plenty of space between your vehicle and theirs to minimize risk. Drive slowly, and increase your following distance behind other vehicles when driving on dirt or gravel roads.


Unfortunately, it often feels like cracking your windshield is inevitable when you own a car. However, knowing the common causes of windshield cracks, and taking certain steps to avoid them, can reduce your risk of having to deal with the stress a cracked windshield can cause. 

If you do end up needing to have a cracked windshield repaired, the auto glass experts at Taylor Auto Glass are here to help. Contact us today for a free quote.

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