Can a Cracked Windshield Shatter?

FAQ: Can a cracked windshield eventually shatter?

Technically yes, a cracked windshield can ultimately end up shattering. But there are many factors involved — and it wouldn’t shatter the way a car window does.

The glass a windshield is made of is laminated. This mean that it has two layers of glass with a thin layer of plastic in the middle. This laminated glass is also referred to as “safety glass.” The thin plastic film helps prevent the glass from breaking into a million pieces the way a glass window does.  

As you may have experienced with your own car, a small windshield crack can often grow into a crack all the way across your windshield. A windshield crack can grow over time due to dirt or debris making its way into the crack, an object striking the glass, or changes in temperature causing the glass to expand and contract. These same factors are what can turn a small windshield crack into a shattered windshield.

However, it’s important to note that it’s unlikely that the windshield would collapse completely into your car like a window made from regular glass. The safety glass used for windshields is much stronger and is made to be held in place.

Here is what a shattered windshield could look like:

To avoid a potential shattered windshield, be sure to repair windshield cracks early on rather than letting them spread. Even if it’s only a small chip or crack, have it checked out. It doesn’t always take a long period of time for a windshield crack to spread.

Windshields with Auto Glass of America

As soon as you notice a chip or crack on your windshield, it’s important to have an expert take a look at it. Visit our website for more information on windshield repairs.

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