Vehicle's Windshield Plays Pivotal Role in Auto Safety

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Quoted from “NEWS from the Auto Club”, Los Angeles, January 22, 2007:

When consumers commonly think of safety features in a new vehicle or truck, safety belts, air bags, and anti-lock brakes may quickly come to mind. However, a relatively unknown fact is that a vehicle’s windshield also plays a pivotal role in overall automobile safety.

Windshields not only support the roof of your vehicle, says AAA, they also protect motorists from being ejected during head-on collisions, help the passenger compartment from being crushed in roll-overs and to keep passengers inside the car during vehicle crashes when combined with use of a safety belt.

“Driving with a damaged or cracked windshield can hinder a motorist’s visibility and also compromise the structural integrity of the automobile during a roll-over incident,” said Program Development Manager of the Auto Club’s Approved Auto Repair Program Dave Skaien. “Properly installed windshields stay in place for passenger side airbags to function properly in a crash as well,” he added.

Reports by the National Highway Safety Administration suggest over 40,000 Americans are killed and more than 5 million injured every year in highway crashes. Thirty percent of the passenger vehicle occupant fatalities stem from an occupant being ejected to injured in a roll-over. “This suggests windshield integrity may be a crucial factor in crash survivability,” Skaien said.

The Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club receives approximately 400 calls a month from its insureds seeking repair or replacement of damaged windshields on vehicles.

The Auto Club is encouraging all motorists with cracked or damaged windshields to immediately seek the advice of an auto glass technician that is certified by the National Glass Association (NGA) or similar certification organization.

“Auto glass is supposed to meet federal safety standards and is imperative for airbags to function properly,” said Senior Vice President Bob Scharaga of All Star Glass, one of the Auto Club’s Show Your Card and Save® participating businesses with 250 mobile glass service trucks and recognized by The Automotive Replacement Safety Standards Council (AGRSS). “Raising consumer awareness of glass as a structural element in today’s modern automobiles is extremely important. Many people just don’t realize that their car’s windshield contributes to the vehicle’s structural integrity by supporting the roof during a roll-over.