A Rock Chips Your Car Windshield On The Road: Now What?
It's a situation many drivers have faced: you're cruising down the highway, and suddenly, a rock flies up and chips your windshield. It's a startling, frustrating experience, but knowing what to do next can save you time, money, and stress. Here's your step-by-step guide.
1. Assess the Damage
The first thing to do is to find a safe place to pull over and assess the damage. Not all chips are created equal. Some may be small and barely noticeable, while others might be larger and more serious. The size, location, and depth of the chip will determine the next steps.
2. Document the Chip
Take a picture of the chip as soon as you notice it. This can be helpful for insurance purposes and will provide a baseline for any potential spreading of the damage.
3. Use a Windshield Repair Kit
For very small chips, a windshield repair kit might be a good temporary solution. These kits, usually available at auto parts stores, use a resin that fills in the chip and helps prevent further cracking. They're easy to use: simply apply the resin, then cure it with the included UV light. However, they're not suitable for larger chips or cracks, which will require professional attention.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you've stabilized the chip, contact your insurance company to report the incident. Depending on your coverage, the cost of repair or replacement might be partially or fully covered. Provide them with all the necessary details and photographs.
5. Schedule a Repair or Replacement
Next, schedule an appointment with a professional auto glass repair company. If the chip is small and not in the driver's line of sight, it might be repairable. However, larger chips or those that interfere with visibility will likely require a full windshield replacement. A professional will be able to assess the damage and advise on the best course of action.
6. Prevent Future Chips
While you can't control all the debris on the road, there are some measures you can take to minimize the risk of future windshield chips. Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles, especially trucks carrying loose materials. Also, try to avoid driving behind construction vehicles or on gravel roads, where flying rocks are more common.
A chipped windshield is never a welcome surprise, but it doesn't have to ruin your day. By assessing the damage, applying a temporary fix, contacting your insurance company, and scheduling a professional repair or replacement, you can handle the situation efficiently and effectively. And remember, prevention is always better than cure, so do what you can to protect your windshield from future damage.
For more info, contact a local company like Pfaff's Auto Glass Inc.