Windshields are definitely designed to be resilient; they must be constructed in a safe manner to protect you from being harmed by breakage. However, the construction of the auto glass means that the glass can still be broken due to thermal shock. Thermal shock occurs when the temperature of the glass changes so rapidly that it causes a crack. Take a look at some of the most common ways a windshield can get broken due to the stress of thermal shock.
The windshield could break if you pour hot water on an icy window.
Perhaps the most common reason for thermal shock windshield damage is when hot water is poured on an icy cold window in an effort to quickly defrost it. It is never wise to do this, no matter how much it may seem like hot water is the fastest way to dissolve ice so you can get a clear view. You are far better to use cold water that is just barely warmer than the ice itself, which can also melt the ice but will not cause such a drastic temperature change so quickly that your windshield would be at risk of cracking.
The windshield could break if you use improper interior heating in severe cold.
You should always rely on the heating system your vehicle has to heat the interior of your vehicle. Even though the heat system gets warm rather quickly, it does start out cool and gradually get warmer. If you were to try to use something else to heat your car's interior that generated a high level of heat quickly, you could end up causing thermal shock that would break your windshield. For example, if you have a portable kerosene heater that is already burning hot and you set it inside your vehicle, the intense and sudden heat could cause your windshield to break.
The windshield could break if it is exposed to instant heat from a fire or explosion.
In the event that your vehicle is parked near a place where a fire or explosion occurs and a high level of heat blasts the windshield, it could very well cause thermal shock breakage. This most often happens when it is cold outside, but if temperatures from a fire or explosion are high enough, thermal shock could also cause a windshield to crack at other times when it is not all that cold.
Go to an auto glass professional if you need help with your car's windshield because it broke due to thermal shock or anything else.