Getting a crack in your windshield is not uncommon. Rocks and other debris on the road mean most drivers will experience this issue at some point. Knowing what to do when it happens will make the situation less stressful.

Can a Cracked Windshield Be Repaired?

If you have a small clip or crack in your windshield, it can probably be repaired without replacing the glass completely. As a general rule of thumb, if a crack is smaller than a dollar bill, it can usually be repaired. A chip can be repaired if it is under two inches wide and not more than an inch deep.

Your Windshield Just Cracked | Don't Panic, Here's What to Do

If the damage is larger than this, you’ll need a windshield replacement. A repair shop can remove your old glass and replace it with a new panel of glass that is secured in place with a special adhesive.

What Should You Do When Your Windshield Cracks?

If your windshield cracks, here are the steps you should take to repair the damage as soon as possible.

Assess the Damage

Since auto glass is relatively strong, there’s a chance that whatever hit your windshield did no damage at all. If you’re driving and notice damage, safely pull over to inspect it more thoroughly. When inspecting, you should look at the length of the damage as well as the depth so you can determine whether it’s fixable or needs to be replaced completely.

Your Windshield Just Cracked | Don't Panic, Here's What to Do

Determine Whether Your Car is Drivable

A small chip in your windshield will probably not affect your visibility while driving. A larger crack that’s right in your line of sight is another story. If the crack or chip in your windshield makes it difficult to see out of it, you should not continue driving. Pull over and make your next move.

Avoid Further Damage

If you neglect to fix a chip or crack in your windshield, it can quickly become a much larger problem. If you have to wait to schedule the repair, be sure to avoid extreme temperatures. These often cause glass to expand and contract, which puts it under even more stress and can cause the crack to become larger.

Your Windshield Just Cracked | Don't Panic, Here's What to Do

File an Insurance Claim

If your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, you will want to contact them to file a claim. Their representatives can assist you through the repair process and issue reimbursement for some or all of the cost.

Repair the Windshield

There are a number of windshield repair companies that can provide services in a garage or even at your home. Be sure to contact a professional to get the repair process started as soon as possible.

Your Windshield Just Cracked | Don't Panic, Here's What to Do

Although chips and cracks in your windshield can be annoying, they’re easily fixable if you follow these simple steps.