Driving in winter can be dangerous. There is the threat of black ice, weather-related car accidents, road closures due to snow or poor visibility (and sometimes both), and worst of all: broken windshields. Don’t let this happen to you! Here are some tips for keeping your windshield intact during the winter season.
#1: Prevent Ice Build Up
The wind and the cold can make it very difficult to scrape ice off your car. A quick and easy way to prevent ice build up is by using a mixture of alcohol and water to spray on the windows before you go outside. This prevents snow from sticking to the window and potentially leading to breakage. Ice build up is most common on the windshield and less so on the side windows. There are few things more frustrating than being unable to see when driving, so it’s important that you don’t let this happen to you.
#2: Remove Snow As Quickly As Possible
If you don’t have a broom or ice scraper, try using a brush to remove snow from your windshield. You can also use a garden shovel or spade since many cars may not come with tools to do the job. If you’re having trouble removing all of the snow and ice, you can also try using a mixture of vinegar and water in place of the alcohol and water to help melt it. Another hack that works in a pinch is filling a zip lock bag with hot water and passing it over the ice. If you use this, make sure the water is not too hot. Also, do NOT place boiling water on your windshield as it can cause cracks—that’s why we recommend using a mixture of vinegar and water if you don’t have access to any other options.
#3: Check For Damage To Your Windshield
Accidents happen and cracks can form very suddenly on your windshield without any notice, so it’s imperative to take extra care when driving in winter conditions. Look at your windshield closely when you get in the car and make sure there aren’t any chips or cracks before you go anywhere. Even if there doesn’t seem to be something wrong with your windshield, you should still be checking it regularly. Check it once a day before you go outside in the morning and after coming back inside in the evening.
#4: Keep The Area Around Your Windshield Clear!
You may not realize it, but there are many parts of your car that can affect visibility. Make sure to clear all snow off of your hood, roof, mirrors, wipers, lights, and trunk. You should also check your lights while you’re at it! Check the lights every day to make sure they are working properly so that you can see when it’s dark. Just because the highways aren’t congested doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous to drive in poor lighting conditions!
#5: Never Assume Your Windshield Is Safe
It’s important to not assume your windshield is okay because it may not be. If you think there are problems with your windshield, bring it to an expert immediately to check for damage. A broken windshield can be very dangerous, especially if you’re in an area that experiences freezing temperatures where they could become fatal in mere minutes.
#6: Avoid Driving At All If Necessary
If conditions are bad when you wake up and you think they will be when you leave for work or when your commute is over, don’t go out and risk it. Make sure to plan accordingly and leave early enough in the morning that you won’t be forced to drive when conditions are bad. If you have the option to take public transportation or carpool with a coworker, it would be wise to use this option on days when roads are particularly dangerous.
#7: Check your lights
Many people assume that their car’s lights are working fine and don’t do a good job of checking them. It’s important to regularly check your headlights, taillights, turns signals, brights, and high beams so you know for sure they’re all working properly. This way if one isn’t working, you can get it fixed before it becomes a major problem. There are different things you can do during the day to make sure they’re not just working but that they’re also in good condition.
#8: Always Carry Extra Supplies
Make sure you have an ice scraper and windshield washer fluid with you at all times in case of any emergencies. If you have a windshield washer fluid mix, bring that too. If you’re using a hose to remove snow from your car, make sure the hose is long enough so you don’t have to stand outside in freezing weather for too long because it could be dangerous.
#9: Check Road Conditions
While checking the news and traffic reports may help you decide whether or not you should drive that day, you can also call your local Department of Transportation to see if there are any roads closed. If a road near your work is closed, don’t risk it and try to find another way to work from home or walk from place to place until the weather breaks.
#10: Bring An Emergency Kit
In the event of a broken windshield, or if you get stuck on the side of the road with no ride home, make sure to bring an emergency kit. This should include items like blankets, hand warmers (or some sort of way to generate heat), extra food and water, matches/lighter/candles, flares, first aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, and an ice scraper. This way if you do end up stuck on the side of the road or have a dead battery it will be easier to stay calm until help arrives.
If you follow these tips, you should limit the chances of your windshield getting smashed during this winter season. As long as there aren’t any cracks or chips, bring it to a windshield repair shop as soon as possible after a winter accident. It’s better to be safe than sorry! We’re here to help. Give us a call today!