So: your worst case scenario has happened and your windshield has broken. Obviously, you’ll know off the bat that you need to get in touch with auto glass replacement services. But it’s one thing to know this in theory, and another to understand the process. A windshield can break under a number of different circumstances. For example, you could be driving down the road and a latch could break, leading your car’s hood to fly up and causing your windshield to shatter and require a replacement.

A number of factors could contribute to your windshield breaking. With that being said, there are certain circumstances in which a windshield breaks regardless of the owner’s careful care. In those cases, the situation is not so much about how the windshield broke in the first place, but about how the individual handles the windshield breaking. It’s easy to panic in the moment and lose your cool. But with windshield claims accounting for about 30% of all auto insurance claims, this is not an uncommon problem. Let’s look into what you should do when your windshield breaks.

1. Stop The Car

First, you need to stop driving immediately. You shouldn’t drive with a broken windshield. A broken windshield equals obstructed vision, and therefore you need to stop the car immediately. Contact an auto glass replacement service or try to get picked up by a professional towing service as soon as possible.

2. Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company

Chances are that your local auto glass replacement services will allow you to replace your windshield at either a fully or partially covered rate, depending on how the windshield was broken. Therefore, you need to get in touch with your insurance company. This way, you can see if your replacement is recovered before you work with a mechanic, and can also see if your car can be towed to the mechanic’s shop. This will ensure that you pay as little out of pocket as possible.

3. Prepare The Area For Replacement — If You’re Without Coverage

Depending on what kind of coverage you have, your auto glass replacement services may not be covered, or may be covered only partially. With that being said, if it isn’t covered fully or is only covered partially, you may want to prepare the area for a replacement. Even if your windshield is only cracked, it will probably need to be replaced entirely. Grab a damp towel and rub down the border of the windshield in order to smooth it and prepare it for the sealing and replacement. Make sure the damaged area is sealed as well as possible to make the replacement easier, ideally with glass from the inside.

There are a number of issues that can contribute to the breaking of windshields. Windshields can shatter due to weakness within the glass itself, or due previous damage done by hailstorms that cause microscopic cracks within the windshield. Every so often, windshields are deliberately broken by third parties. No matter what, it’s important to follow these steps to see if your windshield can be repaired.

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