An improperly or poorly installed windshield or other vehicle glass is not a bargain, regardless of the cost. Your vehicle's windshield is a key component in accident safety. When it needs to be replaced, be aware that an improperly installed replacement can contribute to passenger airbag failure, and increases the chance of roof collapse in a roll-over.
A professionally installed modern windshield protects occupants in more ways than many people realize, it is MUCH more than a barrier against the weather. These days, a windshield is a key component in the structural integrity and safety of the passenger compartment, not just a wind screen. An unsafe windshield, one that is not installed properly or has been damaged by debris, can certainly cause unnecessary personal injury or even death. If the windshield separates from the vehicle in an accident, the lives of those inside are immediately at far greater risk of injury.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over 40,000 Americans are killed and over 5 million injured every year in highway accidents. Over 30 percent of the fatalities occur when vehicle occupants are either ejected from the vehicle, or injured during rollovers. Windshields are intended to keep occupants inside the vehicle. The windshield also supports the roof thereby preserving the structural integrity of the passenger compartment and keeping it from collapsing and crushing driver and passengers.
The danger here is that insurance companies are always looking to cut costs. You may ask, how does that affect me? Windshields, safety belts, airbags and other safety feature should never fall victim to cutting cost at the expense of quality, but in some cases that is what happens. Some consumers will rely on their agent to locate a professional auto glass installer, but that could be a problem because occasionally they will direct you to a place that will get the work done for cheap, but this also might be a flag that corners are being cut.
Visibility and protection from the weather are both important functions of a windshield, but although these aspects are what mostly concern drivers, the role of the windshield in the vehicle's SRS (Safety Restraint System) is its primary function. The decision between a cheap installation with cheap parts and a professional installation with quality parts can mean the difference between surviving or perishing in a collision or roll-over.