Is It Just Us Or Are Albertans More Prone To Windshield Cracks?

If you have gone longer than six months driving in Alberta without connecting with a flying rock, you deserve a medal. Windshield cracks in Alberta are unavoidable. You can hear it right now, can’t you? The familiar sound of a pebble bouncing off the glass. You quickly scan the windshield while driving to see exactly where it landed.

Did it leave a chip?

A crack?

Now you’re stopped at a red light, and you can see it. Of course, it’s right there - in the line of sight. It’s starting to spread already. Great!

Replacing your windshield as an Albertan seems like part of the sacrifice of living in this beautiful province. Friends that move here aren’t quite full Alberta citizens until they come to you complaining about the chip they got on the QEII.

During the Alberta winter months, small gravel pebbles coated with road salt and sand, called "pickle" is used on the roads. Road salt on its own only works in temperatures above -5C, so gravel is added to give traction. This past winter, Calgary used almost 100,000 tonnes of pickle — double for the average winter. More gravel = more windshield chips seen in repair shops. 

While most drivers blame the pickle on the sudden cracks they get on highways, it’s not always the lone culprit. The province is growing, and a lot of construction debris also makes its way onto the roads. Gravel, landscaping materials, nails, and more can also act as projectiles. 

But Saskatchewan and Manitoba are cold too, so they must use pickle as well. They do. However, those chinooks we love so much can melt a lot of snow in a short period of time. Small rocks from the road solution to loosen, resulting in low flying stones. In colder temperatures like those in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the rocks stay stuck in place until the spring when the road crews can get out and start street cleaning.

If you live in Alberta and drive a car, you probably have a rock chip right now in your windshield that you’ve been procrastinating getting fixed. Or, you WILL get a rock chip in your windshield soon.  Either or, the windshield experts at SmartProgram recommend getting on it as soon as you can.

Windshields typically consist of a plastic laminate sandwiched between two layers of glass. Even with the tiniest crack, an air pocket forms between the outer glass and the laminate. When the temperature changes, which it tends to do in Alberta dramatically, the air expands, and contracts. A small chip one day can be a significant crack the next. 

You should always repair or replace damaged auto-glass AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not only is the repair easier to complete before the chip spreads to a crack, but there are also significant safety reasons.

A cracked windshield, rear glass, or side glass could impair your ability to see the road clearly. It also compromises the structural integrity of your car and leaves you and your passengers vulnerable in an accident. Vehicles heavily rely on the windshield to secure the vehicle’s frame during a crash. 

If these safety concerns don’t put your windshield on the high priority list, did you know that it’s illegal to drive with a cracked windshield? The fine could be $500! A fine PLUS the cost of a new windshield? Yikes!

You risk a traffic fine when your windshield has:

Cracks that extend through both layers of glass

Extensive pits, scratches or cracks that obstruct your view

Fissures within the path of your windshield wipers that are more than 12 millimetres long

We can’t prevent a rock from propelling towards your windshield, but we can help with the frustrations and expense of fixing it. 

When customers purchase Smart Care from their dealership, the vehicle protection offered from the program is instantly in effect. That means when (not if) the driver’s windshield is chipped or cracked, Smart Care covers the repair. Customers can choose any windshield repair specialist from our list of certified providers or return to their dealership where they purchased Smart Care.

SmartProgram not only provides windshield protection but unlimited cosmetic repairs for new vehicles.

OUR GOAL IS SIMPLE…to provide the comfort of knowing that car buyers don’t have to worry about normal wear and tear on their new vehicle. It’s covered by the best in the business.

Want to learn more about what Smart Care can do for new car buyers? Contact us today!  

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