Driving Wait Time After Window Replacement Service
If you’re like me, you’ve likely been in this situation before. You’re driving down the highway behind an eighteen-wheeler. You’re keeping a safe distance. Then, a rock comes shooting out of nowhere and rockets into your windshield. The glass cracks. Within days, it has splintered. You know you have to get it replaced.
But you may not know how long you should wait until you can drive the car again after the replacement.
What Is Windshield Replacement?
If you’re a technical person, you might already know that silica is the main component of glass. In this way, windshield glass is not that much different. That said, there is one major distinction between typical glass and windshield glass.
Auto Glass Atlanta LLC, which does mobile windshield replacement in Atlanta, explains that windshields make use of something called “laminated safety glass”. They say that it only looks like normal glass. This specific variety, though, “is actually composed of three layers”. The outside is “clear tempered glass”, while the middle is poly-vinyl butyeral. This structure ensures that those highway rocks don’t come flying through your windshield. That would be very scary, indeed. It “may chip or crack the glass”, but you will remain quite safe.
Another related feature of laminated windshields is that they are shatterproof. “The glass still needs to be repaired or replaced from time to time,” they write. “But this innovation provides much safer and durable glass for our vehicles.” Now that we know what composes windshields and how they’re made, we can take a look at replacement.
Replacement is pretty much what it sounds like. A trained technician removes the windshield on your car and puts another one on in its place. It is very straightforward. There are lots of companies that provide this kind of service. Luckily, it is typical for an auto shop to complete the work in one day. Quite often, it is within hours.
Can I Drive Now?
Once you’ve had the windshield repaired, though, you will need to wait a bit before you can drive again. But how long are we talking about here? It will depend on what kind of driving we are referring to. For normal driving, which is what most people will be doing, there is a specific wait period. For major accidents, which of course nobody is planning to have, it is quite different.
Once “the windshield is set in place, [it] will not move during normal driving after one hour”. That’s not too bad. This means you only need to wait a single hour before you can drive your car after a windshield replacement. That said, “the urethane is not strong enough to secure the windshield in a roll over or head on collision.” For this, you must wait “until it has set for eight hours”. To state the obvious: that’s quite a bit longer to have to wait.
Again, no one is ever in the mood for a head-on collision or accident involving a rollover. But, there is room here for some common sense wisdom. My advice is this. If you don’t have far to drive or won’t need the interstate, you will likely be fine. If you are traveling far or need major highways, it might be safer to plan on picking your car up the next business day. This way, by the time you’re in the car and driving again, you can rest assured that you’ve done the smart thing. I would not want to endanger myself or fellow passengers, and I’m sure you wouldn’t either.
Help Is on the Way
If you find yourself in a situation requiring a brand new windshield, there are options. The first is to call a reputable company, who can usually perform the entire windshield replacement installation while you wait. It doesn’t get much better than that!
The second option, if you feel it isn’t safe to drive your car, is that you can call a tow truck to take your car to a repair shop. This is by far the safest way to go. If your windshield is only nicked, you are likely fine to drive, but only you can make that decision for yourself.
If you want to see what the replacement process is like, take a look at this video. It shows a SafeLite repair technician preforming an entire windshield installation. For the curious among you, I recommend watching the whole thing.
Further, SafeLite has endless videos available on their own personal YouTube channel. They’ve got plenty of informative and helpful advice on windshield replacement. They also happen to have funny commercials portraying people breaking their windshields. I recommend this one in particular.