Jason Patnaude and his 11-year-old daughter Victoria lost their lives because of a faulty windshield replacement.
Two days after Christmas 2011, Patnaude was driving along a stretch of road toward Sidney, Montana. He hit a patch of ice and lost control of his Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Both father and daughter were wearing their seatbelts, but as the truck rolled over several times, the windshield, which had been replaced by Safelite, a sister company of Speedy Glass, separated from the frame of the vehicle, and the roof collapsed, crushing them.
Jason’s wife Iwona was also in the vehicle and sustained multiple injuries. She has since filed a lawsuit in which Safelite is named as a defendant.
Accidents in which windshields separate from the frame of the vehicle often have tragic outcomes. They’re also more common than you might think. The automotive glass repair and replacement industry doesn’t have to abide by any governmental regulations or meet specific quality standards, so it’s essential to work with a reputable windshield repair and replacement company whose professionals undergo extensive training.
We may not have any governmental regulations to follow, but Crackmasters has developed a set of best practices to ensure the structural integrity of the windshield replacement, including:
- Performing a full cut-out of the original windshield adhesive before installing the replacement windshield.
- Thoroughly cleaning the replacement windshield with an alcohol-based cleaner to remove any debris that may compromise adhesion
- Using suction cups to lift the glass, which prevents skin oils from coming in contact with the replacement windshield and compromising adhesion.
- A minimum cure time of 60 minutes to ensure a quality seal between the replacement windshield and vehicle frame. This 60-minute “safe drive away” time means that your vehicle is safe to be driven.
And be sure to ask if your windshield really needs to be replaced. Many companies will recommend a replacement for anything larger than a rock chip, but long crack repair is possible. It never hurts to get a second opinion.