AAA Says Motorists Who Drive with Cracked or Damaged Windshields May Be Placing Themselves in Harms Way.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- When consumers commonly think of safety features in a new vehicle or truck, safety belts, air bags, and anti-lock brakes may quickly come to mind. However, a relatively unknown fact is that a vehicle's windshield also plays a pivotal role in overall automobile safety.
Windshields not only support the roof of your vehicle, says AAA, they also protect motorists from being ejected during head-on collisions, roll-overs and vehicle crashes when combined with the use of a safety belt.
"Driving with a damaged or cracked windshield can hinder a motorist's visibility and also compromise the structural integrity of the automobile during a roll-over incident," said John Nielsen, Director of AAA's Approved Auto Repair program.
Reports by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest over 40,000 Americans are killed and more than 5 million injured every year in highway crashes. Thirty percent of the passenger vehicle occupant fatalities stem from an occupant being ejected or injured in a roll-over. "This suggests windshield integrity may be a crucial factor in crash survivability," AAA said.
Therefore, AAA is encouraging all motorists with cracked or damaged windshields to immediately seek the advice of an auto glass technician that is certified by the National Glass Association (NGA). You may find the NGA certified technician nearest you by visiting www.glass.org or www.myautoglass.org and inserting your Zip Code in the certified technician locator service.
"We are very pleased that AAA is raising consumer awareness on the importance of windshield safety," says Leo Cyr, vice president of the National Glass Association.
Cyr adds, "Many people just don't realize that their car's windshield contributes to the vehicle's structural integrity by supporting the roof during a roll-over."
The National Glass Association is a trade association of auto glass professionals that provides technicians with certification criteria that meets the industry standards on windshield replacement and installation.
To help motorists properly maintain their entire vehicle, visitors to www.AAA.com can enroll at no charge in AAA AutoManager([R]). This application sends users regular email reminders when their vehicles are due for recommended maintenance, and provides additional tools to help diagnose vehicle problems and locate nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair shops.
Additional information on windshield safety and proper installation can be found on the Coalition for Auto Glass Safety and Public Awareness (CASPA) web site at www.myautoglass.org
As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides nearly 50 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.