Waking up to find your car window or windshield has shattered can be a devastating shock. Even if you have comprehensive insurance, the disruption to your day can ruin your mood. Here are four steps you can take to handle the situation:
1. Cover any open spaces.
Broken auto glass leaves your car vulnerable. You can minimize the damage that occurs by covering up any open spaces created when your glass was damaged. Taping a trash bag over your broken window or windshield will keep rain, snow, and debris out of your car. It will not deter thieves, so you should still get your car fixed as soon as possible.
2. Do not drive unless it's safe to do so.
After your auto glass has been damaged, you may be able to drive in certain conditions. If your side windows were damaged, you can still drive. If your front or rear windshields were damaged, the obstruction to your vision will make driving unsafe. If necessary, call a towing service. A tow truck is an additional expense, but it's better to pay a hundred dollars upfront than to get pulled over for driving without a windshield.
3. Carefully vacuum up all broken glass.
If your windshield or window was smashed into the interior, there may be pieces of broken glass inside your car. If you do decide to drive, carefully remove as much glass as you can from your car. While auto glass shatters into small cube-like pieces that are safer than other types of glass, they can still cut you. Make sure your car seat is glass-free before getting into your car, but don't worry about extra pieces of glass on the floor. Your auto glass replacement service will thoroughly vacuum your entire car before returning it to you.
4. Take your car to an auto glass repair shop.
You can choose to fix your own windshield when dealing with small cracks and chips. However, you won't be able to fix a totally shattered window on your own. When your windshield is damaged beyond repair due to an accident or a break-in, an auto glass repair specialist can have it fixed in no time. They will remove the remaining pieces of your former windshield or window and install a replacement. You'll need to be gentle with your new auto glass for the first 24 hours in order to allow the adhesive to set, but after that it will be ready for all conditions.