The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 212/208 standards are the only relevant standards that test for windshield retention in case of a crash. The purpose of the standards is to reduce crash injuries and fatalities by preventing the ejection of occupants from the vehicle. The FMVSS 212/208 standards are applicable for passenger cars, light trucks and buses.
The head-on crash tests based on FMVSS 212/208 are performed at 30 mph (48 km/h) and conclude with the vehicle crashing into a stationary concrete barrier. Cars equipped with passenger side airbags, at a minimum, must retain 50% of the windshield periphery on each side of the vehicles longitudinal centerline. Vehicles not equipped with passenger side airbags must retain 75% of the total windshield periphery.
The standards are not clear in all respects and leave room for interpretation. Specific climates and vehicle selection can reduce the stress parameters experienced by the bonded windshield, making it much easier to pass the crash test. Sika takes the high road by testing its adhesives to the worst case scenario, allowing us to make our recommendations which are applicable for all situations and reduces the risk to the glass shop. Ralph Nader, world renowned safety advocate, former US Presidential candidate and keynote speaker of the 1st AGRSS (Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards) Council meeting stated, “The standard should always be applied to the most severe interpretation”. Additionally, Mr. Nader is among Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century and author of the book, Unsafe at Any Speed.
Testing to the minimum of the standards can result in very short Safe Drive Away Time recommendations. Some adhesive manufacturers claim SDAT in as little as 30 minutes, however, closer inspection of the test method usually indicates that these crash tests were performed using belted dummies and at favorable climatic conditions. But is the vehicle really safe to drive away at real world conditions?