Planning a road trip can be both exciting and a bit stressful, since you want to make sure you get to your destination safely. No where is this more true then when it comes to the state of your windshield. The following tips can help you ensure the windshield is safe while also providing information on what to do if there is a problem.
1. Look the Window over Closely
Address safety concerns before you set out. You are mainly looking for any existing damage, such as chips or cracks. Have these repaired before you leave. Constant driving, pressure and altitude changes, and temperature fluctuations can make a small ding into a huge spiderweb crack in no time. Most small dings and chips can be repaired if you catch them soon enough.
2. Change out Your Wipers
Worn out wipers can scratch your windshield, which can lead to glare and difficulty seeing – especially at night. Replace the wipers with new ones before you leave, since you don't know what weather to expect on a long road trip. This is also the time to top off your windshield wiper fluid. Never run the wipers on a dry window, either, since this increases the chances of scratches.
3. Don't Follow Too Closely
Tailgating is never a good idea, but it can also be dangerous for your windshield. This is because the car in front of you will kick up gravel and rocks, which can chip your window. Leave a safe following distance and consider increasing it behind semi-trucks since they kick rocks up even higher. Avoid driving behind construction vehicles or those with uncovered loads whenever possible.
4. Fix Chips on the Road
If you do get a chip while on your road trip, don't despair. Rock chip repair places are ubiquitous. Start by calling your insurance agent. Many insurance companies cover chip repair services (available at places like http://www.centralglassutah.com) and they can refer you to a technician regardless of where you are on your trip. A chip repair only takes about an hour, so stopping for this quick fix won't put you too far behind on your road trip schedule.
5. Watch for Ice
Frozen windshields can be a problem when on a winter road trip. Warm up the interior of your car slowly before switching to defrost, otherwise the sharp temperature change can lead to a crack. Never pour hot water on a windshield to thaw it either, since this can also break the glass. Also, keep in mind that many towns and cities put gravel on the road to help with traction. Increase your following distance to cut down on gravel chips.