Driving With a Cracked Windshield – Is It Safe?

It happens. It happens when you are driving on the freeway and a rock hits your windshield. It happens when you are driving on a dirt road, perhaps in the middle of nowhere. Heck, it can happen when you lease expect it. Sometimes windshields get cracks in them. The windshield was designed to block wind, rain, sleet, and snow all while providing us with visibility. But, alas, it is made of glass and glass can be extremely fragile – oftentimes all it takes is a single rock or pebble to chip or crack your windshield. Sometimes even if hail is coming down too hard. So we wondered if it would be safe to drive with a cracked windshield.

Here are a few things to consider

  • Size: the most important thing to consider is how big/long the crack is. If the crack is large, then chances are that you will want to get a new windshield. Something to consider is, even though a crack may start off small, with a little wear and tear on the car – even driving continuously without getting it repaired – can mean that the crack may end up growing.
  • Position: where is the crack located? If it is a smaller crack on the passenger side of the windshield, you may have no problems driving until you can have it repaired or replaced. If it starts to interfere with the driver’s view, it is illegal to driver and you will need to repairs or replace the windshield right away.
  • A Growing Crack: this is one of the most common problems when it comes to a small crack or chip in your windshield – the cracks tend to grow. As the temperature fluctuates, the glass will expand and contract. The crack is a weak point in the glass, and it can grow as the glass flexes. As the crack expands, it can become more serious – it can obstruct your view or it can even break the rest of the glass.
  • To Repair or Replace: in some cases, you can repair a chip or a crack. The rule of thumb is if the crack is less than 6-12 inches long, it should be repaired. If the chip or crack is significantly larger, it will require you to get the entire windshield replaced.
    • TIP: Even if the crack or chip is small, it is still important to have it inspected. It should be repaired and should not be allowed to grow, as this can compromise your safety and – damaged windshields leak, and eventually, if the damages is substantial, it may break entirely.

We hope these tips help as we enter into the most traveled season of the year!

If you have been in an accident, please contact us to discuss your case today. Consultations are free.

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