Windshields and windows are important for cars in more ways than just letting you see the road. They play a role in structural support, protection during accidents and more. Needing a windshield replacement Livingston Parish LA means you have to do your research to keep track of what you need. So here is what you should know about the glass in your car.

What’s in Your Windshield

Your windshield is made of laminated glass. Two panels of glass are held together by an alcoholic resin called PVB. That bonded layer of PVB is provides your windshield with shock absorption during a collision. That resin also provides a protective layer that boosts resistance to projectiles. It also absorbs most of the UV rays from the sun. The strength of your windshield is important because it also allows passenger airbags to deploy properly. When activated, the passenger side airbag deploys and bounces off of the windshield to move toward you. The strength of your windshield also supports your roof. If your car is in a situation where you flip over, your windshield is what keeps your roof from completely collapsing on itself.

What’s in Your Side Windows

The glass used in your side windows is called tempered glass. Tempered means that the glass was rapidly heated and then cooled down to give it it’s form. By rapidly heating and then cooling down the glass, it gets stressed to the point where the strength of the glass is multiple times greater that it was before the manufacturing process. This step is extremely important for the safety of your vehicle. This stronger version of glass is why your side windows don’t shatter when you drive over a pothole, slam your door or endure strong winds and debris.

Why Different Kinds of Glass are Used

The biggest reasons for using both tempered and laminated glass is for safety and emergency. Laminated glass is much stronger than tempered glass. It’s perfect for protecting the driver and front passenger in a collision. It helps guide the passenger airbag to maximize shock absorption and it doesn’t break easily when hit by flying objects. However, this strength is the main reason it isn’t used in side windows. In an emergency where the doors of your car can’t open, laminated glass would be far too hard for you to break. Tempered glass is strong and can keep passengers inside the car during a collision; but, you can break it relatively easier in an emergency situation and make a quick exit. Balancing safety with emergencies is a complex challenge for manufactures but cars in this day and age are going a long way to keep folks safe in uncertain moments.

Glass is a big deal for cars and passengers. It literally makes the difference between your car roof collapsing on you if it rolls over. It supports airbag safety and even shields you from harmful UV light. You probably never think about how much glass makes your driving experience that much safer and comfortable; but, now you know.