Every day drivers across Louisiana stare through a pane of glass at the roadway ahead of them. Hopefully, that windshield glass is nice and clean and devoid of streaks that might obstruct your view. Or, because of Louisiana's less-than-optimal road conditions, hopefully, you aren't straining to see through a crack or a star in your windshield either, which can be just as dangerous.

Broken windshield in the car accident
Ocskay Bence, ThinkStock

There is probably one thing you have noticed about the windshield of your modern car. It appears to be "decorated". You've probably noticed some dark trim around the extreme edges of your windshield. Next to those black edges appear to be a series of black dots that tend to circumnavigate the perimeter of your windshield.

Bright Side via YouTube
Bright Side via YouTube

Have you ever stopped to consider what those "black dots" are there for?

To understand that you have to know a little bit about how windshields get put into cars. Back in the 50s and 60s manufacturers used adhesives to hold the glass in place. They supported that adhesive by surrounding the windshield with a metal rim. Take a look at an older car and you can see the metal border.

1977: Pontiac Trans AM
Greg Gjerdingen // Wikimedia Commons

Today's modern cars have their windshields baked into them. Yes, baked, like a cake.  And that's where the little black dots come into play. Now if you thought the "dots" were there to aid in defogging the glass, you'd be wrong. But if you surmised the "dots" had something to do with temperature control, you'd be right. But probably not "right" the way you think you are.

The Dots Serve an Aesthetic and Functional Purpose on Your Windshield

The "black dots" aren't randomly placed. If you look at them closely you can see they get smaller and smaller the further away from the black edge of the windshield you look. This is for aesthetics. It makes the transition from black glass to transparent glass easier on the eyes.

The "halftone pattern" as it's called also serves a purpose in helping the windshield disperse heat. Those tiny dots help distribute the heat more evenly throughout the windshield. This prevents your windshield from warping in the heat. Lord knows we have plenty of that here in Louisiana.

And now you know more about something you see every day. Want to learn something else?

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells