Summer Storms Are on the Horizon: Use These Tips to Protect Your Car From Hail Damage
High wind and torrential rain are not the only reason to be concerned during a thunderstorm. When conditions are just right and cold air comes into contact with warm air high above the earth, dangerous hail can result, capable of damaging whatever it strikes as it falls to earth. When parked outside or being driven during the hail storm, vehicles are often the recipient of dents and other damage, including breakage to the windshield and other glass components of the car.
Understanding Why Driving with Damage Auto Glass is a Safety Hazard
When a vehicle has been damaged by hail during a storm and the damage seems limited to one or more cracks or chips, drivers often postpone the repair and continue to drive the vehicle. Doing this may seem the most convenient action at the time, but most drivers do not realize that doing so can place them and any occupants in the car in grave danger.
Modern vehicle designs are much different than they were just three or four decades ago when the main function of auto glass was to provide a safe, clear surface to protect the occupants from weather, wind, and insects, while also providing an unobstructed view for driving. Now, however, cars are designed to use fiberglass, plastic, and other materials in the body design that are far lighter and much more energy efficient than older car body styles that were made from heavy steel.
Using these new lighter, materials has helped to improve fuel mileage, but it has also forced designers to find ways to add structural integrity to the design by incorporating the strength of the car’s other components, such as the windshield and other glass in the car. If the glass is damaged and the car continues to be driven, it will be far more likely to break during a collision or roll-over accident, greatly increasing the risk of injury or death to the occupants of the vehicle.
Vehicle Air Bags are Designed to Use an Intact Windshield as a Backstop
Many drivers are also not aware of the role their car’s windshield plays in the deployment of the car’s air bag system. Air bags are dependent upon having a backstop when inflating that forces the bag forward to protect the driver and front-row passengers. If the car’s windshield is cracked or chipped, it may not be able to withstand the force of the air bag when it deploys. Without a firm backstop to propel against, the air bag may not be able to deploy fully and offer the protection it is designed to provide.
What Car Owners Can Do to Protect Their Vehicle from Hail Damage
Avoiding hail damage is always the best option for car owners, but this can be difficult to do when storms develop suddenly or the car is caught in traffic or must be parked on the street or in an open driveway. However, there are some things drivers can do to help limit or prevent hail damage. These include:
- installing an inexpensive portable carport to provide covered parking at your home or business if no garage space is available
- staying alert to possible hail storms by listening to local weather reports and finding temporary shelter under an overpass or under a covered parking area of a local business where you can pull over and sit for a few moments to wait out the storm
- investing in a car cover especially designed and padded to resist hail damage that you can carry in the trunk of the car for emergency use
Car owners should also be aware that storms that are likely to have hail may also have damaging winds, dangerous lighting, or tornadic activity. If there is no place to find shelter for the car in this type of situation, it is best for the driver to move to a safe spot indoors and deal with any damage the car receives after the storm has passed. In most cases, hail damage is covered under full coverage auto insurance policies and keeping you and your occupants safe should always be the first concern.
The Quality of the Repair or Replacement is Crucial
Hail damage happens, even when car owners have done their best to properly protect their vehicles. When hail damage chips or damages your vehicle’s glass, Anthony Volk Glass in West Chester, Pennsylvania is here to help!
Serving the West Chester, PA area proudly since 1985, Anthony Volk Glass specializes in repairing and replacing auto glass in high end makes and models, but also offers the best possible glass replacement and repair all makes of vehicles, including high end exotic cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, and construction equipment.
Whether it’s the van Mom uses to haul the soccer kids, a luxury vehicle, a fire truck, or anything in between, Anthony Volk Glass is the glass repair and replacement expert that vehicle and equipment owners trust throughout the West Chester, PA area.
If you have damaged auto glass or just a question about keeping your car safe from hail damage, contact our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help!
Tags: auto glass hail damage