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How Serious is Your Windshield Damage?

Windshield damage can, unfortunately, happen at any time, as bits of grit and debris can fly up at high speed and hit the glass without warning. This can lead to obvious disaster, as the glass can shatter if it's hit by a large enough object with enough force.

But even if you only suffer minor damage, although it might not look like much, it could actually be quite risky to carry on driving, since it can often get worse quite quickly. Understanding the type of damage and what it might mean helps you to work out what to do, and how urgent the situation might be. If you're in any doubt, however, stop driving and call out a repair specialist immediately – and use your judgement! If something looks serious, make sure you get it fixed despite what it says here.

Bull's eye

So-called because it resembles the centre of a dart board or archery target, a bull's eye is usually round, possibly with a noticeable circle in the centre. This type of damage is not normally serious, and shouldn't cause any further problems such as spreading cracks. However, you'll need to get it fixed eventually, and if it affects your vision while driving, you should make it a priority.


Windshield cracks come in several forms. An edge crack is just what it sounds like – it starts at the edge of the glass. These are normally quite long, so you should get help urgently before the glass breaks further.

Stress cracks appear for reasons other than impacts and are usually fairly small, making them easy to repair without needing the entire windshield replacing.

Finally, a floater crack is an impact crack that occurs away from the edges. It may spread, so get it seen to quickly.


Similar to a bull's eye, but a chunk of glass is missing. This weakens the site of the damage, making cracks possible. Not an emergency, but you shouldn't wait long to get it fixed.

Combination break

A mix of chips, cracks, and other forms of damage that can make it difficult to see through the windshield and put you at serious risk from further problems. Combination breaks can be pretty serious, so you might need to stop right away to get the windshield replaced.

Star break

Caused by impact and looking just as you'd expect, the star break risks cracks spreading in all directions. Either stop and call someone out to fix it or drive to a nearby garage for assistance.