Dealing With A Vandalized Windshield: What You Should Know

When you walk out to your car, ready to head to work and start your day, the last thing you want to see is a busted windshield staring back at you. However, whether random or intended specifically for you, a vandalized car and windshield can happen to anyone. The initial shock of the moment may leave you unclear on how to handle the situation or proceed. You certainly cannot just ignore the broken glass and go about your day, but you may be unsure of what to do first. So before you panic and make a major mistake, learn what steps to take when your car windshield has been vandalized. 

Do Not Touch Anything

While you may not have noticed your cracked or broken windshield until you had already sat down in your car (especially if it is the back windshield), once you do make the discovery, do not touch anything else on or in your car. And certainly do not touch the windshield itself. 

First and foremost, you may hurt yourself. This is especially true if there are pieces of glass inside or outside of your car. Windshield glass is very thick and if you accidentally place your hand on the car to lean on it or get a better look, you could embed large pieces of glass into your hand which would require medical attention and possible sutures. 

Secondly, you do not want to accidentally disturb with any evidence that the vandal may have inadvertently left behind. So, if you are in your car, get back out carefully trying not to touch anything you have not already come into contact with. And remember to close the car door very gently to keep from shattering the entire windshield.

Contact Your Employer, the Police, and Your Insurance Company

Next, you will need to contact your employer to let them know you will be late. Let them know what happened and that you are in the process of contacting the police to file a report. Do not assume you will be able to quickly contact the police and then race off to work. This is highly unlikely.

Your next call will be to the police. They will send an officer out to meet with you, examine your vehicle, and collect any evidence (including photographs of the damage). You may find yourself waiting for quite a while to meet with an officer depending on where you live and the types of calls your police department receives that may take precedence over yours.

Be patient. And in the meantime, use your smart phone or camera to take pictures of the damage for your own records. Also, take this time waiting to call your auto insurance company and file a claim.

Get Your Windshield Prepared

Once the police report and your insurance claim are filed, you should be given the go-ahead to repair your windshield. Contact an auto glass repair company like A1 Auto Glass and let them know what happened. They will ask you for the make and model of your vehicle and the extent of the damage. 

In all likelihood, if your windshield has been vandalized, you will need to replace the glass in its entirety. It can take a few days for your auto glass repair company to have the right sized windshield ready to go. While you are awaiting your auto glass installation, you will need to be extremely cautious with your vehicle. 

If you must drive your vehicle, you will need to place cardboard on either side of the broken portion of your windshield and cover that with plastic such as a tarp or garbage bag. This will help to support the remaining glass, will hold it in if it breaks further, and will prevent moisture from damaging the interior of your car. While this is highly effective for a back windshield that you can cover completely, you may want to just cease driving if it is your front windshield as you cannot guarantee that the damage will not spread to uncovered portions. 

When your car windshield is damaged, you may not know what to do. However, if you follow these basic guidelines, you will be able to properly handle the situation and get your windshield replaced as soon as possible.