Driving with a Cracked Windshield? How Long Can You Drive?


Your windshield purpose is to block snow, wind, rain, and a couple of sleets while giving you clear visibility along the road. But since the windshield is made of glass, most people known this as fragile which makes it more prone to getting damaged and break. To be honest, windshield cracks are a pain, however, it can worsen and become a major safety hazard for you and your passengers. Though some of the car owners find some solution to fix their auto glass issues right away, others still chose to drive with cracked windows to avoid paying for expensive repairs.

Moreover, a windshield is prone to a different type of damages such as bull’s eye, linear crack, pit, chip, or a star-shaped break. And when multiple cracks or crack on the inside were about to happen, a windshield should be replaced immediately since repairing it may become more expensive.

Is It Safe? Driving With a Cracked Windshield?

This is the first question that comes to most people’s minds after damaging their windshield.

“Can I drive with a cracked windshield? Is it safe?” The answer would be, yes, it is safe. But it depends upon on the following key factors:

  • Size – One of the most basic factors to consider is the size of the crack or chip. If the crack is long and spread out, chances are you won’t be able to drive your car. Some states have laws against driving with a broken windshield. Because of this, it is advisable to replace your windshield entirely. But if the crack is small, then driving with a cracked windshield is possible for a longer period.
  • Position of The Crack – another thing you must consider is the location and position of the crack. If it’s small and located on the passenger’s side, then you shouldn’t have an issue driving the car until you decide to have them replaced or repaired. But if the crack or chip starts to interfere with the driver’s new, then it’s the time for you to replace or repair them immediately.
  • The Severity of The Damage – In other cases, you can simply repair a crack or chip. If the crack is less than six to 12 inches in length, then self-repairs are a possible and reasonable option. While on the other hand, if the damage is bigger than 12 inches then it needs to be replaced completely.
  • Spreading Chip or Crack – One of the most common issues with small crack is they tend to spread and grow rapidly in other areas. As the weather and temperature changes every day, the auto glass expands and contracts. As the glass continues to loosen up, the crack will grow since it’s the weakest point.

Final Thoughts

Windshield damage is commonly caused by flying debris and small stones carried by the wind. To be honest, it’s easy to overlook this matter and sometimes you’re more concern about having a ticket when driving a cracked windshield, but the truth is, more danger lies and can even cause a life-threatening scenario if no action were applied.

But the answer to the question of “is it safe to drive with a cracked windshield?” remains “no” because even the smallest crack or chip can expand over time and can affect the overall structural capacity of your windshield which can be caused of an accident.

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