When you have your windshield replaced, your technician might (and should) mention something called “safe drive-away time.” This is a term that describes how long after the windshield is replaced that the car must sit before you will be able to drive the vehicle safely.
The safe drive-away time for your vehicle will vary depending on what type of adhesive or glue the technician uses to install your windshield. While a number of adhesives offer a drive-away time as low as 30 minutes, others require that the vehicle be parked for several hours after the windshield is replaced. The amount of time specified is the amount of time that it takes for the adhesive to cure and harden fully, holding your windshield in place. The adhesive safe drive-away time is determined by a variety of factors, including the type of adhesive, temperature, humidity and other conditions at the time of replacement. Your technician should take all of these factors into consideration before informing you of the proper and safe drive-away time.
If your vehicle were to be involved in a collision or accident before the safe drive-away time has been achieved, it might not remain in place in the event of a crash. The windshield is an important safety feature of your vehicle; it provides structural support to the vehicle’s roof. Without the windshield in place, the roof could potentially cave in on you and/or your passengers. Likewise, you could be ejected from the vehicle through the opening.
These dangers are why it is crucial that safe drive-away times are followed precisely. Driving the vehicle before it is ready could prove dangerous to you and/or your passengers. Be sure to ask your windshield replacement technician for specific details on when the vehicle is safe to be driven after your windshield is replaced. It could save your life.