Is It Safe To Drive With A Cracked Windshield?

Picture this: You’re driving your fancy vehicle, and suddenly a rock or a flying bird hits your windshield. Or perhaps you’re involved in a minor accident. Due to the impact on your vehicle, the windshield’s integrity is interfered with, resulting in a crack. If the crack isn’t significant in size, you’ll probably thank God and continue with your journey. As time passes, the crack transforms into a large spider-web-like crack. At this point, the only question you have is whether it’s safe to drive with a cracked windshield.

Generally, driving with minor cracks isn’t something to worry about. However, as the cracks grow larger, it’s important to have windscreen replacement as soon as possible. As far as driving with a cracked windshield is concerned, there are two major reasons why you shouldn’t think about it.

First, when your car’s windshield cracks, it becomes weak. Therefore, it can’t offer excellent protection against the next thing that will come flying your way. And since the glass is already weak, a minor accident can cause shuttering, which is dangerous for everyone in the vehicle.

Second, a cracked windshield interferes with visibility, which can cause severe or fatal accidents. With that in mind, it’s vital to consider windscreen repair for minor cracks before they spread or if your budget doesn’t allow for replacement.

Other Reasons Not To Drive With A Cracked Windshield

Besides protection and visual interference, there are other compelling reasons why you shouldn’t drive with a cracked windshield. They include:

  • Insurance

Suppose your windshield is cracked, and there’s documentation or video bearing the evidence. In that case, your insurer might use the evidence to avoid paying for your car if necessary. Since most insurers are always looking for loopholes to avoid paying compensation, a history of driving with a cracked windshield might be interpreted as reckless driving or negligence and used against you.

  • Warranty

Damaged windshields can prevent you from accessing your vehicle’s warranty if warranted parts failure results from the windshield’s damage. While such cases are rare, they do happen.

Why Does A Cracked Windshield Stop Protecting The Driver And Passengers?

Contrary to what it seems, a windshield isn’t a typical glass. It’s made of two connected glasses. This design ensures lamination and that the inner layer remains intact even if the outer layer cracks. Driving with a cracked windshield exposes the inner layer, which can easily shutter if the windshield is hit again. This means that the driver and passengers are always in danger whenever they enter the vehicle.

How Easily Can A Cracked Windshield Shutter?

Once a vehicle’s windshield has even the tiniest crack, the whole windshield’s integrity is compromised. At this point, moisture, potholes, bumps, and temperature variation worsen the case. These factors cause the windshield to contract and expand, further interfering with the structure. If the vehicle’s owner doesn’t repair or replace the windshield,  shuttering will occur.

Luckily, even if the windscreen shutters, its design won’t allow the glass to fall inside the car. Thanks to technology, the windshield is designed to keep the glass intact inside the frame.

When Should You Replace The Windshield?

Shattered windshields require immediate replacement since most states prohibit driving with a damaged windshield. Therefore, if you continue driving with a damaged windshield, you’ll probably find yourself on the wrong side of the law one of these days.

Regarding minor cracks, they’re easily and quickly repaired. That said, replacing a slightly cracked windshield isn’t a must unless you don’t mind.

As for the largely cracked windshield, it’ll help if you consider replacing the entire glass. While you can also repair those, they tend to increase in size with time. To prevent this from happening, consider acting now instead of later.

Parting Shot

The windshield of your vehicle is your first line of defense against any flying object. It also protects you if you hit something. Unfortunately, it’s prone to damage, and when it does, you and everyone else in the vehicle remain unprotected.

Since cracks on the windshield are inevitable, you must take care of them once you notice them. Cracks can be repaired prior to enlargement. However, if they’re large and deep enough to be felt by your fingers, replacing the entire windshield is the best solution. This way, you prevent further damage to your vehicle and maximize passenger protection.

Finally, to answer the question ‘Is it safe to drive with a cracked windshield?’ The answer is ‘NO!

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