Can Glass Puncture (Pop) A Tire [Potential Risks & What to Do]

Tire punctures are the worst. You could just be enjoying your day and now you have to deal with a flat tire.

That is why some people might want to know what causes a flat tire and how best to avoid such scenarios. One thing people are not sure about is if glass can puncture a tire.

Driving over glass is common but most of the time you do not have to worry about glass popping your tire.

This is because there has been an improvement in tire manufacturing over the years to the point it is hard for glass to cause puncture or lead to a major blowout.

Will Glass Pop a Tire?

Whether it is just normal glass or windshield glass on the road, there is nothing to worry about because it will not pop your tire.

Since tires now have steel belts under the rubber treads, this would be good enough to keep the tires from easily popping even when you drive over the glass.

steel belts

The windshield is not the easiest to break, but it is designed to break in a certain way compared to normal glass.

In case of a major impact, the windshield scatters into several pieces which can be sharp, but you will not have to think of them popping the tire.

We emphasize more on the windshield more because that is what you are likely to drive over while on the road. Accidents happen and shards of windshield remain behind.

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This would make some people uncomfortable driving over them, but that should not worry you so much. This is because the glass will not damage the wheels.

Potential Risks of Driving Over Glass

There are scenarios where driving over glass can lead to damage even if it is not a puncture. Here are some;

  • When you have old or abused tires, the chances are they are nearing the end of their useful life. So, then you drive through glass, and there is not enough cushion to keep the glass from ripping through the tire.
  • If it is summer, you will find that the temperatures are higher. At this point, the rubber heats up and becomes softer. The glass shards on the road can likely punch through the soft tire and lead to a slow puncture. This does not always happen, but there is a chance it can happen.
  • We have mostly dwelled on tempered glass such as a windshield because that is what you might get often on the road. However, what if it is a glass bottle with sharp pointed edges? This type of glass may considerably damage the tire if not careful.

Here is a video on what may happen while driving over glass bottles

YouTube video

Even though it is not always possible to have a puncture on the spot while driving over the glass, the chances are you can still get one down the road.

One reason is that glass can slightly cut the tire making it vulnerable to other road debris that would actually cause the puncture.

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There is also a potential build-up of contaminants and corrosion around the areas that have been cut. Eventually, you may experience a blowout.

We recommend you take a look at the tires after you have driven through them. It would help you see if the tires are still in good condition or not.

What to Do After Driving Through Glass

What to Do After Driving Through Glass

Driving through glass should not scare you, but you can always consider a few things once you go through glass. Here are some;

  1. Visual inspection

It is important to have a visual inspection of the tire after going through a bed of glass. Sometimes it is hard to miss driving through glass if you were at high speed. Simply pull over to the side and inspect the tires.

Look for glass that might be sticking to the tires and remove them. This is important to avoid any potential damage by the glass that is wedged in the treads.

Also, look for any sliced areas, especially on the tire sidewall. Glass slicing the sidewall can be a disaster and you may have to watch that tire keenly to see if the damage can be repaired.

  1. Check the tire pressure

If you have doubts about losing tire pressure after driving through glass, simply consider checking the tire pressure to be sure.

If you have a tire gauge the better. You can check the tire pressure to be sure it is within the right range then you can keep driving without worrying that you have low tire pressure.

The owner’s manual would have the details on how much tire pressure you need. Most passenger cars can operate with 35 PSI.

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This video shows how you can check tire pressure

YouTube video

In case you have a TPMS as part of the car, it will turn on in case there is the low air pressure in the tires. When it turns on, you would know that it is the glass that you drove through that could have brought all these issues.

  1. Get to a tire shop

Sometimes you may not have all the fancy tools for checking air pressure and you do not want to wait until you have a flat tire to be sure. For such a scenario, take the car to a tire shop for checkout before deciding what to do.

In case you have a puncture, the tire shop will remove what has caused the puncture and have it repaired. At least you would be sure you have the tires in good condition and you can drive without a problem.

What Can Cause a Flat Tire

Now that you know glass may not necessarily puncture your tire, the question now becomes, what may actually lead to a flat tire? Here are some of the things that can lead to flat tires;

  • Driving over sharp objects such as nails or sharp debris. That is why you should be driving around construction sites.
  • Bad road conditions such as potholes or uneven roads can also lead to flat tires. The worst part is that hitting a huge pothole can bend the rim.
  • Having a valve stem leakage will easily leave you with a flat tire. As such, have the valve stem replaced for good performance.
  • Worn or old tires should be replaced. Other than being punctured easily, they can also start to crack because of dry rotting. That is quite dangerous.
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Can you run over glass?

Yes, there is no problem driving over the glass. However, we do not mean that you intentionally do that. Glass can lead to some other damage if you drive over it more often.

What happens if you drive over glass shards?

Some sharp glass can slice the tire. As much as it might not be enough for a puncture, it can leave the tire vulnerable to getting punctured easily.

What are the common types of glass you may see on the road?

The most common glass types will be windshield, headlight, taillight, and window glasses.

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