Your windshield blocks snow, wind, rain, and sleet while offering clear visibility. However, since it is made of glass, its inherently fragile nature makes it prone to damage and breakage. Windshield cracks are a pain, but they can also become a major safety hazard. Though some of us get the problem fixed right away, others continue driving with a cracked windshield for as long as possible to avoid paying for the repairs.
A windshield could suffer from more than one type of damage, which includes a bull’s eye, linear crack, pit, crack chip, or even a star-shaped break. In case of multiple cracks or a crack on the inside, a windshield will need to be replaced since repairing it becomes rather difficult.
Driving With a Cracked Windshield – Is it Safe?
The first question that usually crosses a lot of people’s minds after damaging their windshields is “Can I Drive With a Cracked Windshield?” The answer is “yes”, but it will depend on a few key factors.
- Size –One of the main considerations is the size of the chip or crack. If the crack is long and more spread out, chances are good that your state actually has laws in place against driving in this circumstance. You will want to have the windshield replaced entirely. However, if the crack is small and insignificant, then driving with a cracked windshield for a long period is not a big issue.
- The position of the crack –Another key consideration is the location of the crack. If it is small and positioned on the passenger side, you shouldn’t have an issue driving until you get it repaired or replaced. Conversely, if the crack starts interfering with the driver’s view, it becomes prohibited to drive and will need to be fixed right away.
- The extent of the damage –In some cases, you can easily repair a crack or chip. If the crack is less than 6 to 12 inches long, repairs are possible, and a viable option. On the other hand, if the damage is more significant then it will need to be completely replaced.
- A spreading crack –One of the most widespread issues with small cracks is that they tend to spread and grow. As the temperature varies, the glass expands and contracts. As the glass loosens up, the crack tends to grow since it is a weak point.
How Long Can I Drive With A Cracked Windshield?
Windshield damage is a frequent occurrence that is normally associated with flying stones and other debris carried by the wind. It is easy to overlook what appears to be a trivial cosmetic concern, and you may assume that getting stuck with a ticket is the worst that can happen when driving a cracked windshield, but the dangers that can stem from this action are severe and even life-threatening.
For this reason, it is not advisable to drive with a cracked windshield for a long period of time, especially if the damage obstructs the driver’s view or is significant, to begin with. Even if the crack is small, keep in mind that it will expand over time and turn into a bigger headache later on. Furthermore, a cracked windshield can shatter anytime due to factors such temperature fluctuations, an object striking the glass, or the entrance of dirt in the crack. But even if the glass ends up shattering, the possibility of it collapsing onto your hood or into your vehicle is highly improbable. That’s because windshields are held in place with powerful urethane adhesive, which prevents noise, leaks, and movement of the glass. Also, since the glass is laminated, the whole windshield normally will not separate from the frame.
But the question of “is it safe?” still remains ‘no’ because even an insignificant crack implies that the structural integrity of your windshield has been compromised, which means it has now become a safety hazard to both you and other travelers.
Regardless of the size and position of the crack, it is never a good idea to keep riding in a car with a damaged windshield, and you should get it checked out as soon as possible. For this, you will need to get in touch with a professional glass technician or a reputable auto glass company that can help you determine if the glass needs to be repaired or entirely replaced. You want to make sure that you and those riding in your vehicle are completely safe, and your windshield is a crucial part of the safety system. Connect Auto Glass specializes in this worst-case scenario.
If you need emergency windshield replacement call Connect Auto Glass. We are a mobile service and pride ourselves on flexible payment plans and helpful fluidity with the insurance companies. No matter where you are in life or on the road, we will be there too.