When a vehicle travelling down the highway runs over a stone, it can be propelled at high speed into the air. If you're unlucky, you will be driving your vehicle nearby, and your windscreen will be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As you've learned the hard way recently, your screen may be showing the effects, but is this particular type of damage repairable or do you need to get a replacement?

Exponential Force

It doesn't take much for a small stone to create damage like this, as you need to add the forward speed of your car to the velocity of the stone to determine the true exponential force. Physics aside, regulations will dictate whether you can take the vehicle in for a repair or whether you will need to fork out for a new screen altogether.

Structural Integrity

Although you may not realise it, the windscreen is an important part of the structure of the car and helps to protect the occupants in the event of an accident. Without a screen in place, the upper part of the shell would be vulnerable and especially in a rollover incident.


This is why engineers design the windscreen carefully so that it maintains its basic functionality and does not shatter into a thousand pieces. It is laminated, and two separate pieces of glass are joined together on top of a transparent inner sheet. If one pane were to break, then the pieces would remain attached to that inner sheet as a safety mechanism.

Repair or Replace?

Nevertheless, when it is hit by a stone, it will invariably show signs of damage. If it is simply a chip and located away from the driver's field of vision or away from the edge of the screen, then it can certainly be repaired. If it is a crack, however, then your choice is very limited, and you may well have to replace the entire screen.

You may think that a chip located near the edge of a screen would be less of a problem as it is out of your line of sight, but engineers believe that this type of damage could weaken the entire screen or cause a failure.

Finding out

If you are not sure, take the vehicle into a windscreen repair professional for their advice. If they can, they will repair the chip or advise you of your next course of action.