Should You Drive With a Cracked Windshield?
If you drive long enough, you’ll experience a cracked windshield. This inevitable setback can range between a minor headache and a life-threatening hassle, depending on how quickly you address the damage.
A fractured view of the road not only limits your view of the scenery but 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 there are still plenty of drivers who 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 whether 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, there are certain circumstances that 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.
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. Let us help you avoid any more significant risks further down the road! Contact us today to get a free quote on any windshield replacement project.