If you own and operate a vehicle, you most likely have driven through a storm. Unfortunately, many storms produce hail that not only decreases your ability to see while driving, but it can also dent and ding your car. A hailstorm will usually not cause an enormous amount of damage to your vehicle's body, but it can quickly wreak havoc on your windshield. Many insurance policies offer coverage for a repair or replacement, but a new windshield may not be worth the cost of your deductible. To reduce the risk of costly windshield damage during a hailstorm, use the following simple solutions.

During the Storm

If it begins hailing while you are driving, do not panic. If you continue driving during the storm, the hail will hit your car with even more force, so your best option is to park your car.

Safely pull your car over and park under an overpass or a covered awning. Park your car at an angle, as well. Since the front windshield and windows are reinforced, they have a lower risk of severe damage. If the hail hits the rear glass, it will break and possibly shatter. Parking at an angle ensures the stronger windshield and front windows receive the brunt of the hail.

After the Hailstorm

Once the storm has ended and you are parked in a safe location, spend some time inspecting your car for damage. If you do not own a smartphone, you should keep a camera in your car to document damage after an accident. If you have a smartphone, use it to take pictures of any damage.

Driving with large cracks in your windshield is not safe, since this damage will reduce your visibility. If you have large cracks in your car's glass, contact your insurance provider to determine the best course of action to repair the damage. You may not want to pay the deductible to have the windshield replaced, but it is the best option for your safety.

Smaller cracks in your windshield can be repaired on your own. Park your car in a shady area to reduce the sun's glare on the glass. Make sure there are no large chunks of dirt or debris in and around the crack. Then, apply a coat of clear nail polish on both the interior and exterior of the crack. Move your car into a sunny area and allow the nail polish to dry.

Inspect the crack periodically to determine if further damage occurs. If the crack spreads, replacing the entire windshield may be necessary.

Your car may be affected by hail at one point in time, so understanding how to prevent damage to your windshield is essential. With these solutions, you can easily protect your car's windshield from the damaging force of hail. Contact a company like Central Glass for more information.