Having a cracked or broken windshield can impact your ability to drive safely, and you'll need to have any damage repaired as soon as possible to ensure safety on the road. Taking certain precautions can help prevent damage to your windshield over time. Use the following guide to care for your car and prevent windshield cracks and scratches.

1. Use A Tarp

If you don't have a garage, your car can be exposed to potential damage when it's parked in your driveway or on the street. Using a tarp or car cover can prevent small scratches and cracks from falling twigs and debris. Choose a tarp that has a padded lining to provide extra cushion, and use the tarp whenever your car will be parked for an extended period of time, such as overnight. Using a tarp also helps to keep the interior of your car cooler on hot days, making it an ideal accessory for the summer months.

2. Take Care When Parking

Choose your parking spots carefully to avoid potential hazards. Whenever possible, park away from trees with low limbs, and avoid parking near construction zones. This is particularly crucial when parking in the city, as construction may be going on in taller buildings above where your car is parked, which can leave your vehicle vulnerable to falling items. Look for parking garages in the area, even if it means walking a few extra steps to get to your chosen destination.

3. Move Cautiously Over Unpaved Surfaces

Driving over unpaved surfaces, such as dirt or gravel roads, can lead to rocks flying at your windshield. Maintain a lower rate of speed than you might normally drive at to avoid damage to your windshield and to maintain traction on the road. If there are cars in front of you, expand the distance between vehicles so rocks aren't kicked back onto your windshield. When you get out of the car, check around the windshield wipers for small rocks, as they can become lodged underneath the blades. If left in place, the rocks can scratch the glass the next time you turn your wipers on.

4. Avoid Hazardous Weather

Keep an eye on the weather before you head out, particularly during the spring months when storms might be more likely. Hail storms and high winds can bring with them plenty of opportunities for windshield damage. If your car will be parked during the storm, move it into the garage or put your tarp in place to help protect the windshield from cracks and dings.

If you do notice a crack or split in the windshield, contact your local windshield replacement services right away. You can have the glass repaired or replaced so your field of vision when driving remains unobstructed.