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Dangerous or Not: Should You Drive With a Cracked Windshield?

Dangerous or Not: Should You Drive With a Cracked Windshield?

If you drive long enough, you’ll experience a cracked windshield. Depending on how quickly you address the damage, this inevitable setback can range between a minor headache and a life-threatening hassle.

A fractured view of the road limits your view of the scenery and can pose a legitimate threat to you and the drivers around you during your commute. Windshield replacement remains one of the top automotive insurance claims in the U.S., but plenty of drivers still choose to overlook the severity of their windshield crack, chip, or other forms of damage.

But how do you know whether your windshield crack is truly too dangerous to ignore?

Here are a few things every driver should know when it comes to whether or not to drive with a cracked windshield.

Is It Legal to Drive With a Cracked Windshield?

This is the first question most drivers tend to ask themselves when assessing whether they should risk driving with a cracked windshield. Every state varies in laws that pertain to driving with auto glass damage, so it’s important to keep yourself afloat to local laws regarding auto glass repair.

In Florida specifically, traffic laws do allow driving with a damaged windshield under certain circumstances. However, certain circumstances make driving with windshield damage illegal if it significantly impairs the driver’s vision.

Here are a few of the general regulations that dictate whether or not you can legally drive with a cracked windshield:

  • Any windshield cracks or chips smaller than three-quarters of an inch in diameter are permitted but cannot be located within three inches of another crack or chip.

  • Windshield cracks cannot be located directly in front of the driver’s view, from the top of the steering wheel to the top edge of the windshield.

  • It is essentially at a police officer’s discretion whether they will issue you a citation for driving with a cracked windshield or not.

While some forms of windshield cracks are more apparent and dangerous than others, choosing not to replace your windshield after enduring a crack can still leave you vulnerable to a ticket or citation.

Does Your Cracked Windshield Jeopardize Its Structural Integrity?

Perhaps the most overlooked aspect of driving with a cracked windshield is whether or not you’re jeopardizing your windshield’s structural integrity.

The important thing to remember when dealing with a cracked windshield: No matter how minor it may appear, a crack will decrease the overall strength and structural integrity of your windshield.

This means your auto glass is more susceptible to shattering if any other forms of debris make contact with it.

So, if you’re driving around with multiple windshield cracks, you could be dealing with a ticking time bomb that could shatter from the next pebble that flies its way.

Is Your Cracked Windshield Impacting Your Vehicle’s Features?

Another unforeseen setback to a cracked windshield is how it can impact all of your vehicle’s other features.

For example, windshield damage could affect your ADAS calibration, which could hinder performance for various features, such as rear windshield cameras, cruise control, and power steering.

Another reason to consider replacing your cracked windshield is its potential impact on your airbag deployment, which only increases the risk for you and your passengers.

Is Your Visibility Reduced By the Winshield Crack?

Seeing the road clearly is critical to being a safe driver, and a cracked windshield will interfere with this.

At the right angle, cracks can cause glare from headlights or sunlight, creating a dangerous blind spot that could result in an accident or become a distraction as the eye shifts its focus away from the road to the damage, increasing the risks of inattentive driving.

Can a Cracked Windshield Keep You & Your Passengers Safe? 

Windshields have two layers of glass that are adhered together. They are designed so the inside layer stays together if the outer cracks or breaks.

When an accident occurs, the windshield may be the only thing preventing someone from being ejected from the vehicle, so if the glass is compromised, it’s more prone to fail and endanger those in the car.

How to Fix a Cracked Windshield

While your windshield is built to be strong, cracks and chips can happen, and if yours has experienced damage, It is recommended to have it repaired.

There are several online products available that come in kits, and typical steps include:

  • Cleaning the damage and removing loose debris

  • Apply the resin to the crack per the instructions

  • Make sure it's thoroughly filled

  • Give it enough time to cure

While it can feel tempting to DIY the repair to save some money or take the vehicle to a dealership, that is not always your best choice.

If you don't have the right know-how and tools, DIY may end up being more costly in the long run. Because dealerships don't only focus on windshields, if they even offer it, chances are, the repair will take longer and be more expensive, which is why choosing a glass pro is the best choice. 

Replace Your Cracked Windshield With Quality Counts!

At the end of the day, is driving around with a cracked windshield really worth all that risk just to put off paying a few bucks? We highly recommend getting a second opinion on any damage your windshield endures at Quality Counts Auto Glass.

Our team also offers mobile windshield repair to help save you money with a flexible schedule without compromising quality. Let us help you avoid any more significant risks further down the road!

Contact us online or give us a call at 941-251-7817 today to get a free quote on any windshield replacement project.