Why Safe Installation Practices are Important

May 08, 2003

Airbag timing - As part of a vehicle's structure, the windshield is a critical determinant of proper airbag timing.  In a crash, an improperly installed windshield may cause an airbag to deploy too early or too late.  In either case, the safety of the occupants may be compromised.
Airbag retention - On impact the windshield acts as a brace to support the passenger side airbag.  If the windshield separates, the airbag does not have a constrained space, and it is not effective in protecting the occupant.

The windshield is intended to keep unrestrained occupants inside the vehicle.  In a crash, an improperly installed windshield may fail to hold and detach from its frame, allowing any passengers in the vehicle to be ejected, which increases each occupant's chances for serious or even fatal injuries.

Structural Integrity - The windshield is an important part of a vehicle's energy management systems, which directs crash energy around the occupant compartment.  If the windshield is improperly installed, the vehicle may crumple differently than the manufacturer intended, which may jeopardize occupants.
Rollover Strength - In a rollover accident, the windshield provides strength by helping to keep the roof from crushing in on any vehicle occupants.  In some model designs, the windshield supplies up to 50% of the vehicle's rollover strength

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