Real World Evidence of the Importance of a Properly Installed Windshield

We talk about it many times in our stories—how important it is to ensure a windshield is installed correctly. It’s literally the difference between life and death, and last week two of my coworkers became a testament to this.

Roadway debris.

I am going to share their story because they want me to—they are so thankful their windshield stayed intact that day.

But I also wanted to share some comments from our readers who saw this post about it on social media—who drew attention to something I hadn’t really thought about. But first, the story of what happened in the words of Holly Biller, our media services vice president.

Holly Biller seeing the impact her windshield took from the outside of her vehicle.

“I was driving to work with my co-worker and friend, Erin in my passenger seat. On Route 1 northbound I see what looks to be a bit of pipe in the left hand lane and I see an SUV about to hit it. I think to myself, that is going to be rough on his tire, I hope he’s going to be okay. That contact with the SUV sent the debris up in the air in a direct arc to fly directly into my Honda CR-V windshield almost dead center.

The windshield following the accident.

By the grace of God and the care of good technicians who properly installed my windshield, the glass held. The lamination did as it’s designed to do and while the glass shattered – it stuck. Yes we were covered head to toe in glass pieces and dust, but neither of us was cut. Neither of us was bleeding and most of all, neither of us had the impact of the debris. The Stafford County Deputy came and found the debris, a rusted spring which if the windshield hadn’t held would have harmed either Erin, myself or both of us at the rate it crashed the vehicle.
So on this Thankful Thursday I would like to thank … every auto glass technician who cares about proper installation of windshields that saved us … Auto Glass Safety Council for providing the safewindshields.org site to find Glass America who will replace my windshield …”

Another view of the windshield fully in tact.

Holly is vice president of our parent company, Key Media & Research, so she oversees items related to all our brands which includes auto glass and window film, so representatives from both of those industries follow her page on Facebook.

As you can imagine many in the auto glass industry commented that they were glad she and Erin were okay.

But the comments from the film industry surprised me. Many had the same sentiment–next time get tint put on the windshield. Here are just a few.

  • “If your windshield would have had Air80 or something like it, you would have very little if no glass on you. I’m sure you know someone that does Tint LOL.”
  • “Glad you are okay! I can’t believe it was not tinted though.”
  • “Put a layer of security film on the inside of the replacement windshield … no glass fragments …”

Admittedly, we don’t write a lot of articles about getting film installed on a windshield after a replacement? Maybe we should. (If you do go this route here is a great link to all the tint laws in each state and remember only clear window film may be used: https://iwfa.com/Portals/0/@PDFs/State%20Law%20Chart%20March%202019.pdf_. We do write however about auto glass companies who could diversify into window film and window film companies who could diversity into auto glass.

But the comments mentioned above made me think of another type of partnership. If the film companies think this is so important, I wonder if any of them have made friends with a neighborhood auto glass or company such as your business? And for you the auto glass company, have you ever thought about adding window film? It’s a great item to add and there are companies out there who offer both services. If not, what about partnering with a local window film company? And the window film company could put out business cards or flyers for your auto glass company. What a great marketing partnership to be made.

I would love your thoughts, and if such a partnership does exist send me an email at ttaffera@glass.com

But most importantly, thanks to the reputable auto glass and window film installers who do a professional job with the goal of keeping us all safe.

School Days

I may have talked about this before in my blog, but the need to educate students about joining the trades as a viable career is one worth mentioning again. I serve as the editorial director of this magazine, and four others, all of which serve the trades. From auto glass technicians to window film and door and window installers, all industries are struggling to find labor. This isn’t a secret. But why aren’t local high schools doing more to attract students to these trades?

I talked to the owner of a local window and door retailer recently and he told me his company had to turn down $402,000 worth of work last year because he didn’t have installers to do the jobs. This same company currently has approximately $800,000 worth of work on the books. And they aren’t able to sell additional jobs as they were already backed up 14 weeks. Who is going to wait that long for their new windows to be installed? No one.

This individual and I then talked about how high school counselors don’t encourage students to join the trades anymore.

“That’s their job,” he said, a point to which I wholeheartedly agree.

I mean they may not hear it from their parents, who instead may be pushing them toward a four-year institution. So when planning for the future the high school counselor is often it.

My daughter is a high school senior and I attended senior night recently for the wrestling team, as she serves as the team manager. All the seniors come out with their parents and an announcer proclaims where each student will go to college. For one young gentleman, the pronouncement was that he would be studying to be an HVAC technician and I think he got the most applause. I think it was partly because it was a refreshing change.

One person I have admired for years now is Mike Rowe, you know the “Dirty Jobs guy.” I think of him as the “trade school guy” and love that for five years he has offered a work ethic scholarship that offers money to those interested in skilled jobs training.

I would love if we could all come together and promote our trade, and others, to students who may not be interested in the traditional four-year degree. If any of you have ever brought on an apprentice (perhaps a younger person out of high school interested in auto glass), and helped train them, I would love to hear about it.

Now it’s time for my shameless plug. You know where a great place is to learn about the auto glass industry: Auto Glass Week™ to be held September 4-6 in Indianapolis. Do you have an apprentice, or know of a novice interested in the trade? Bring him or her with you!

I would love to hear what you all are doing in this regard. Comment here or email me at ttaffera@glass.com

See you in Indy!