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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windshield?

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

A driver can drive his motor vehicle safely if he can see the road ahead. That’s why state rules and specific laws on the quality of windshields were implemented. These rules and regulations are all true and applicable to all states in America, including California. A broken or cracked windshield is often not permitted in some states, especially if it hinders the driver’s vision.

Suppose you hit a deer and drive off with a cracked windshield. To know exactly about the legalities of the state law on cracked windshields, it is necessary to explore the existing law and some important regulations in every state. Even with a small chip, a broken windshield is not the only concern for the driver. Some other windshield laws govern specific objects to be used on a car's windshield, specified tints that are allowed, and many more!

Since the state’s department and traffic laws differ, it’s necessary that you learn more about cracked windshield legal matters. This way, you can assure that you will not violate such windshield laws, avoiding a traffic ticket.

Knowing windshield laws in your state

Knowing the Windshield Laws in Your State

There are some federal regulations exclusively for cracked windshields. And these regulations allow chips or cracks smaller than three-fourths in diameter; however, these cannot be with 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) on another crack. Furthermore, no cracked windshield directly in the driver’s line of vision is allowed.

States need to abide by federal regulations; however, they also have the flexibility to craft their laws. With this, most states, including California, strictly mandate that the use of a damaged windshield that hinders a driver’s view is not permitted. Hence, the law should be strictly imposed on public vehicles or private cars, including tractors, trucks transporting goods, and even fire engines.

Why is There a Need for Windshield Repair or Windshield Replacement Once Cracked?

A small cracked windshield may not seem dangerous. If the cracked windshield doesn’t interfere with the driver’s vision, they may ignore it for many days without getting the windshield fixed. Thus, they may still drive their car in such a defective condition just like driving without a front bumper.

Although your car doesn’t violate the state regulations and laws, it would be better to visit an auto glass repair shop and request a windshield glass replacement. It would be better to spend a few hundred dollars on a repair bill and have a new windshield than to pay for hospitalization due to a car accident. If this happens, you are able to file for car accident claims.

Over time, direct sunlight, ice, snow on the windshield glass surface, bumpy roads, motor vibrations, and extreme heat may cause a small crack to become big and result in more significant damages if the driver had neglected to repair the windshield cracks, this would eventually cause shattering of the glass windshield. Then, shattered or defective windshields may cause a car accident, which causes injury or even death. For personal injury claims, contact a car accident attorney near you.

Insurance for your cracked windshield

Insurance for Your Cracked Windshield

Suppose a driver has comprehensive insurance from a recognized auto insurance company. In that case, they can file claims to replace or repair a cracked windshield. When filing a claim for a cracked windshield, there’s a need to pay a deductible.

A deductible fee is an amount to be paid prior to starting the insurance. In other words, there are some instances where it doesn’t make any sense to file a claim for having a windshield replaced or any windshield repaired.

If the deductible is under the replacement cost, then a person cannot file such a claim. For instance, if the replacement cost for your damaged windshield is around $500 and his deductible is about $600, then they cannot receive money from the insurance companies.

However, some insurance companies offer separate windshield plans with a low deductible for auto glass windshield repair and replacement. This would help the individual with their financial concerns since the deductible will not be higher than its repair bill.

In addition to that, some auto insurance companies waive the entire deductible for the windshield replacement; however, this is not for windshield repairs. That’s why it’s essential to ask for more details about the safety glass coverage once they purchase the policy.

Fixing a Windshield Crack and Damaged Glass — Improving the Structural Integrity of the Car

In most states like California, strict implementation of law must be followed. If not, a driver may be penalized under state law or even under federal law and regulation. With this matter, it is highly recommended that all vehicle drivers fix the crack or damage to their glass cars so that there will not be a hindrance to their vision when driving.

Small cracks on the windshield may significantly impact the driver, causing problems like an accident or death. If the windshield is obstructed because of the crack or damaged glass, drivers will check the rear windows to see the road ahead. That's why there's a need to replace it even if there's a small crack in the glass to avoid taking a glance at the rear window. Windshield wipers will not function properly if the glass is broken. So, it would be difficult to drive during rainy days.

So, to avoid glancing at the rear window and directly focus looking forward while driving, it is important to fix any damaged windshield. Furthermore, drivers may add two layers of the windshield to provide strong resistance to damage. By doing this, drivers can perfectly see the road ahead since no issue obstructs their vision.

By adhering to state law, especially in California, you will have an assurance that you can showcase a professional manner and proper ethics in driving in California or even in other places. Thus, you also guarantee that you can prevent any possible danger or problems on public roads when driving any type of vehicle.

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