No vehicle owner should ever drive with a damaged windscreen, as this can interrupt your line of sight and also risk glass shattering in an accident. It can also result in a steep fine. In some cases, a windscreen can be repaired, but in other cases, it may need outright replacement. Note a few factors to consider when it comes to the condition of your vehicle's windscreen so you know what to expect by way of repairs or replacement.

Older glass can become weak over time

Windscreen glass can get weakened over time from long-term exposure to sunlight and bitter cold. This may be one reason why it's recommended that you have the windscreen replaced rather than repaired, even if the chip or crack in the glass seems relatively minor. The glass may be so weak that it won't hold any filler or resin, or it may simply be safer to get new glass installed than to have an older windscreen on your car, even if a chip can be repaired.

You need glass for your make and model of car

Windscreen glass is made to be very tough and durable, but certain makes and models of cars and trucks may need tougher, thicker glass than usual. This is because the windscreen helps to hold up the weight of the vehicle's roof, especially during a rollover collision. If you outfit your vehicle with a windscreen not meant for its weight, it may be too weak to provide this needed support, and it will be more likely to collapse during an accident. The glass also may not fit perfectly to the frame of the vehicle, so leaks will form around the edges of the windscreen. To avoid these risks, always choose a windscreen replacement meant for your vehicle in particular.

A very dirty windscreen may mean that it needs replacing

If your vehicle's windscreen seems very dirty and cloudy no matter how often you clean it, and no matter what products you use, this can mean that it needs replacing. The windscreen could have suffered tiny nicks and scratches over the years, and dirt has seeped into these areas, becoming embedded and stuck in those tiny crevices. While this can make the windscreen unsightly, it can also make the windscreen weak and prone to breakage. When your vehicle's windscreen is always dirty or always looks dull, cloudy, or streaky, have it examined by a replacement specialist to note if it's time to have a new windscreen installed on your vehicle.