An obstruction-free view while driving is of utmost importance to ensure you arrive at your destination safely. If your windshield develops a crack, it’s important to understand the risks so that you don’t put yourself or others in danger. To ensure your windshield gets the attention it deserves, there are a few things to keep in mind when you notice a crack in your windshield.

The Legality Of It

It can be considered a motor vehicle offense to drive with a cracked windshield if it interferes with your visibility and ability to drive. For example, if you find it challenging to see through the driver’s side of the windshield due to cracks, then it is possible that you can get a ticket for driving with it. However, if it doesn’t interfere with visibility, then it is unlikely that you will get fined for it. Aside from the legality of driving with a cracked windshield, there are some other considerations that should be accounted for.

Shattering Is Unlikely

Although windshield cracks can grow to be quite large, it is unlikely that your windshield will completely shatter and fall into the vehicle cabin. This may even be the case if something hits it while you are driving. That’s because most windshields are made from laminated glass, meaning they have a thin plastic film on both sides of the glass to hold the glass together if it breaks. Therefore, if you’re in a pinch and you need to continue driving your car with the windshield cracked, you will probably be okay. That being said, if you have an actual hole in your windshield increases the likelihood of additional damage. 

The Crack Will Likely Grow

If there’s one thing that’s true about cracks in windshields, it’s that they tend to grow over time. Eventually, the crack will grow so large that it can partially or completely obstruct your view. If you have a large crack in your windshield, the best course of action is windshield repair or a windshield replacement as soon as possible. Temperatures and weather tend to make a big difference as well. For example, if you get water in the crack of your windshield and it freezes overnight, then the expansion of the water will likely result in a bigger crack. Typically, if there are multiple chips and cracks, then it is likely that the cracks may combine together.

There May Be Leaks

Another issue that can arise if you wait too long to address the crack in your windshield is that you can start having leaks. At some point, the cracked glass can put small tears in the plastic film, allowing water to come into the passenger cabin. Over time, this can lead to mold and mildew growth in the cabin, leaving you with far more expensive problems than a broken windshield. This is especially problematic if you park your car outside or in a parking lot during a storm.

Constant Threats

Normally, a rock thrown onto your windshield by a passing car isn’t really a big deal. However, if you already have a cracked windshield, even a small rock can cause the crack to grow substantially, leaving you with an emergency situation. If you have to drive with a cracked windshield, try to stay on well-maintained side roads so that any debris that impacts the windshield won’t do as much damage. Additionally, attempt to avoid driving behind big trucks or vehicles that have large wheels and may kick up debris such as small rocks.

Small Chips vs Big Cracks

Small chips are typically easy to take care of by going to a professional to fill them. However, a chip can turn into a crack, which can eventually cover the entire windshield, if not taken care of. With that being the case, it’s ideal that you fill them as quickly as possible so they don’t get worst.

Big cracks are more likely to get worse more quickly. With that being the case, the bigger the crack, the sooner you’ll need to replace it. Some people have reported using superglue or tape to hold things together so that they can delay getting a new windshield.

Vehicle Registration

Many states have regulations that prevent your car from getting the proper registration if your vehicle has a crack in the windshield. Sometimes, depending on the state, small chips are acceptable, and cracks that are smaller than a dollar bill can still pass registration passes. However, if the cracks are bigger, then it is likely that you’ll need to replace the windshield completely before getting your registration approved.

Windshield Wipers

Unfortunately, cracks and chips may damage windshield wipers. If you have chips on your windshield, then it is likely that you’ll need to replace your wipers more frequently. Additionally, it may interrupt the wiper’s ability to remove the water. It is possible that during a storm, the chips would cause issues that would result in limited visibility. This is one of the biggest hazards caused by cracks and small chips and a good reason to replace your windshield.

Take It Seriously

Since a cracked windshield doesn’t affect the physical operation of a vehicle, many people don’t take this problem seriously. It’s important to understand, though, that a cracked windshield can be a serious safety hazard that you need to address as quickly as you can. Though in most cases it is legal to drive with a cracked windshield and it is rarely a safety hazard, you should do what you can to replace it or repair it before it becomes a hazard.