When Sports Balls Wreak Windshield Havoc

It’s springtime in Kansas City, so outdoor sporting activities will be in full swing for the next several months. That means baseballs, softballs, golf balls, and the like will take to the sky. While we know it’s enjoyable to take part in these outdoor sporting events, balls can do a number to your windshield. Use this guide so you don’t fall prey to a busted window.

The Composition of Your Windshield Offers Some Protection

To the naked eye, a windshield appears to be a single plate of glass, but that’s not really the case. Windshields are composed of three layers, with the middle layer made of a plastic-like substance called poly-vinyl butyral. This layer is what keeps those sports balls from penetrating the windshield entirely and landing inside your vehicle.

In most cases, this limits the damage to the outside layer of glass, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need some level of repair. Also, know that sunroof glass or side and back windows may not include this inner layer. Rather, they tend to be made of tempered glass which can break into pieces when hit with a ball at high speed. Want to see the difference? Check out this picture.

Does the Type of Ball Impact the Damage?

Not all sports balls are created equal. The odds of glass damage from a tennis ball, for instance, is little to none. So, what balls can cause the most damage?

First, take into consideration the size and speed of the ball. Golf balls, being small and rather hard in their own composition, can do a number on a windshield, especially if hit from a nearby golf course or driving range. These tend to be hit with great speed and force.

Baseballs, especially hard-hit balls to the outfield, can land with a velocity that causes severe damage. Foul balls that travel high into the sky also cause damage because the height causes them to come down with much force.

While you wouldn’t expect it, a basketball can cause damage that you don’t initially see. The balls won’t crack the glass, but when thrown into a windshield, they can cause the edges of the windshield to become loose.

Ways to Prevent Damage in the First Place

While it may only happen once in a lifetime, if you are around sports facilities where balls are in play, the odds are good that you should be prepared for an accident. There are ways you can be proactive and try to mitigate these occurrences.

  1. Consider the parking lot: If you have the chance, select a spot that doesn’t put your vehicle directly in line with possible damage. These spots can be tempting because they often are close to the field and save you some steps. But choosing a spot that requires a bit more walking can save you dollars in the long run.
  2. Consider the direction: Do you have the option to back into a parking space? Don’t let the pressure of other cars waiting to find their own parking spot force you to pull in facing the field. Reversing into a spot can save your front windshield from a direct hit.

How to Handle Repairs

If your car does receive damage from a golf ball or baseball, in most states the person in charge of paying for the damage is the one who hit the ball. Rarely will the golf course or baseball field assume any liability. The only time this happens is when you can prove the organization was negligent in protective measures that could have prevented the damage in the first place.

You also must hope that the person who hit the ball did in fact know it caused damage and then had a conscience to either wait around and find you or leave a note with a phone number and contact information. If you do have their information, then they will typically choose to pay for the repair outright or bill their insurance depending on what coverage they have.

Regardless, you should have the windshield repaired or replaced entirely. Driving with a broken windshield can cause impaired vision and reduced safety to you and your passengers.

If your windshield is damaged, call Auto Glass & Tint Shop at 913-491-8468 or request a quote online.

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