Need a Windshield? Get Started Here

What to Do When Your Windshield Gets Hit By a Ball

golf ball breaking glass
6 min read

Find it helpful?

Share With

Maybe you’ve considered the scenario of a wayward golf ball flying into the street and breaking your windshield as you drive by the local country club. Or you’ve thought about the rare possibility that the parking spot you chose at the baseball game just may end up being the inevitable target of a big home run.

Up until now, you figured, “What are the actual odds it could actually happen to me?” And then it does.

Sure, sometimes you’re just “in the wrong place at the right time,” but repeating that tired cliché isn’t going to magically fix your windshield.

So what do you do? Who is responsible? How do you take care of the issue responsibly and safety?

What Sports Damage to Auto Glass Will Look Like

Almost all automobiles in the United States are required have windshields made of laminated glass. Laminated windshields consist of two pieces of glass stuck together with a layer of film in between. This is safety feature that keeps the glass, even if broken, as intact as possible to reduce the possibility or severity of injury to people in or near the vehicle.

This means that when a ball impacts your windshield, the glass may crack or spider out into a small or large web—but it should not shatter into many pieces. Unless an incredibly high amount of force was used, the ball will also likely not penetrate the glass, though it is possible depending on the weight of the object and the speed at which it traveled.

If the ball strikes another piece of glass on the car, such as the back glass, roof glass, sunroof or side glass on the door, it may shatter into pieces or penetrate the glass, as these areas aren’t required to use laminated glass. They are typically made of tempered glass instead. Both are safety glass, but you can see the differences here.

What Not to Do

First of all, it’s never a good idea to operate the car if your windshield is damaged, no matter the severity.

Even the smallest crack or chip can compromise the integrity of the windshield, which is an important structural component of your vehicle. The crack can also spread quickly and could impede your view, which is extremely dangerous for you and other drivers on the road.

So pull over to a safe place as soon as you can, and if you’re not actually driving, don’t start now. [Tips on what do you if your glass breaks]

Who is Responsible for Sports-Related Auto Glass Damage?

This may be the most important aspect of this topic—and quite possibly the sole reason as to why you’re here in the first place.

If your car is hit by something like a baseball or a golf ball, who does responsibility fall on? In most cases, it’s pretty cut-and-dry, but also in most cases, the responsibility doesn’t always end up falling where you would expect.

Take, for example, a golf ball. You’re driving down the street by a golf course minding your own business, when a ball comes flying over a tree and into your windshield. It sure as heck isn’t your fault that the road happened to run within striking distance of a wayward shot.

Law and policy may differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction or from facility to facility, but almost always, the ultimate responsibility falls on the person who hit the golf ball. At least, this is the answer nearly every golf course will give you, and typically they’re right.

The only time responsibility may fall on the course may be if they failed to provide a reasonable barricade between flying golf balls and the road in a way that could make this kind of accident a regular occurrence. And even then, the “victim” would likely need to lawyer up in order to prove this—if it is even provable.

The same goes for a stadium. It’s unlikely the stadium will take responsibility if you park your car in an area where baseballs may be flying all over the place.

In one unique case, a baseball player a minor league baseball player actually hit his own car. It was OK, though… since it was a grand slam.

How to Proceed with Sports-Related Auto Glass Damage

First of all, as stated before, you shouldn’t continue to drive the vehicle. In the golf ball scenario, if you’re near the entrance of the golf course, pull in there.

If the golfer who hit the ball knows he made contact with your car, you hope their moral compass kicks in and that they fess up. If they don’t take responsibility and approach you, you should immediately go to the golf course pro shop or office and explain your situation. The person there likely will tell you the facility is not liable, but they should at the very least help you locate the person responsible. The shop almost always knows who is on the golf course and can pinpoint which group of players was in a particular area at a certain time. Any information you can provide, such as where your car was when you were hit, or the color shirt the golfer you suspect hit the ball was wearing will be helpful.

In the end, you hope the person responsible will ultimately do the right thing. In that case, you may exchange information, and they will have the option of paying for the damage out of pocket or to go through whichever insurance avenues the two of you work out.

Otherwise, you may very well get stuck with the tab and will either need to file a claim through your auto insurance company or pay the full amount out of pocket.

Getting the Windshield Replaced

If you’re ready to find a glass shop to replace your damaged windshield, can provide instant replacement quotes from local shops in your area. Just provide your vehicle information, choose from one of our affiliates, and book your replacement today!

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Nick St. Denis

Nick St. Denis currently serves as the director of research for Key Media & Research and is formerly the editor of USGlass magazine. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the State University of New York where he studied journalism and is currently working on earning his Master’s Degree in survey research. Nick has a passion for sports including football, hockey, and golf. He enjoys playing ice hockey in a local men’s league and cheers on the New York Islanders when not on the ice himself. He was actually a sports reporter for a New York newspaper and also worked at a country club in Virginia. Most notably, Nick is husband to his wife Tammy, and father to his son Carter. Find out more about Nick on Linkedin.

More Articles from Nick St. Denis

Related Posts

2 Responses

  1. Isnt there a window protector you can buy. Our car got hit 4 times on the front windshield….i just purchased a towing window protector but dont know if its padded enough

  2. I was at softball game the coach was pitching to student on other side of fence. Ball crossed over top of fence and hit my windshield. Busted up. Who is responsible on replacement? They have been giving me the go around. What should I do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

© 2024 All rights reserved.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

image 14 is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a
means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 

© 2024 by All rights reserved. No reproduction without express written permission from