If your vehicle has ever beeped at you for braking too late or drifting too close to lane markers, then it is most likely equipped with a forward-facing camera and sensors that are there to keep you safe. These components are often mounted inside your vehicle near the rearview mirror, and they are literally the eyes for advanced safety systems in today's cars. While this technology helps reduce crashes and related injuries, it also creates new challenges when dealing with windshield damage, which we learned about by talking to the windshield experts at Safelite AutoGlass®.

According to Safelite, nearly 80 percent of new 2021 vehicles sold today are equipped with some sort of forward-facing camera system, and by next year, most new vehicles are expected to come with this technology as automatic emergency braking (AEB) becomes virtually standard on all 2022 new passenger vehicles. These cameras are used for a number of advanced safety features including forward collision warning, pedestrian automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Safelite performs more forward-facing camera recalibrations than any other auto glass company.

To most motorists, a crack or chip on the windshield is a minor frustration, but to a car's computer and advanced safety systems, such damage could limit the effectiveness of the forward-facing camera. If a small chip or crack is located directly in front of the forward-facing camera, it may obscure its view and render those safety features ineffective or inoperable. 

Also, when a windshield is replaced, the forward-facing camera will require recalibration. If the camera is not recalibrated, Safelite says that the advanced safety features may not work properly and could give inaccurate information or alerts to the driver, which could cause an accident.

Depending on the vehicle and type of camera used, there are two types of recalibration: static and dynamic. A static recalibration is performed in a controlled environment, like one of Safelite’s hundreds of locations nationwide, using highly sensitive, specialized equipment. Alternately, a dynamic recalibration requires a road test. Some vehicle makes, such as Subaru, require both types of recalibration. The good news is that Safelite can perform both the windshield replacement and camera recalibration for almost any vehicle in the same visit.

Any damage done to your windshield should be considered a potential safety hazard, but the longer you wait to address the damage, the more you risk additional safety issues and added costs. While prices vary not only by make and model but also by which company you choose, you should look for a company that will work with your insurance to provide low- or no-cost windshield repair and replacement, and you can always get a free quote online at safelite.com. Safelite performs more forward-facing camera recalibrations than any other auto glass company, and this service is available nationwide.

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