Safe drive-away time: what is it and why is it important?

When you have your windshield replaced, quality technicians will give you a very important measure—something called “safe drive-away time.” Safe Drive-Away Time (SDAT) 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 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.

There are recorded instances where passengers have been ejected from the vehicle due to indifference of the published safe-drive away times for specific adhesives and climate conditions. If your vehicle were to be involved in a collision or accident before the safe drive-away time has been achieved, the windshield might not remain in place in the event of a crash. The windshield is an important structural safety feature of your vehicle. Not only is it important that the windshield remain bonded and attached during a collision to keep passengers contained within the vehicle compartment, but the windshield provides the necessary support for the airbags when deployed. Without this support, airbags can be rendered ineffective. The windshield also provides structural support to the vehicle’s roof in the event of a rollover accident. Without the windshield in place, the roof could potentially collapse on 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.

The Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) is the not-for-profit organization dedicated to the safe replacement of auto glass. The AGSC was founded and is supported by companies in the auto glass replacement industry that keep safe installation as their primary goal and is an accredited American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development organization. It has developed North America’s only auto glass replacement standard, the AGRSS™ Standard (ANSI/AGSC/AGRSS™ 003-2015 Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard), which addresses procedures, education and product performance.

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