Is it okay to Drive with a Cracked Windshield and How to get a Cracked Windshield Repair?
When it comes to cracked windshields, there are numerous questions people may have.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the most common rules about windshield cracks, windshield repairs, regulations by state, and how to repair a windshield crack on a car or motor vehicle.
Reading this article could save you from a traffic ticket, save you on replacement cost, or car insurance, and ensure that you are driving with a car up to legal code.
Can I be driving with a cracked windshield or damaged windshield?
What about my window tint?
How do I deal with car insurance companies?
What are the best ways to get a windshield repair?
Types of Car Windshield Cracks
Almost every single motor vehicle has a windshield feature, complete with windshield wipers and safety glass. The purpose of windshields is to protect the driver’s view while they are operating the car.
Windshield cracks are sometimes covered by car insurance, depending on the type of crack, and if the entire pane needs a replacement.
There are a few different ways that the front window of the car can crack:
If the windshield is completely cracked because of a collision, most likely the vehicle insurance will cover the replacement glass. Especially, since there are some serious car side effects to consider after a crash!
Post-car accident, motorists will need to contact the insurance auto inspection company, and schedule services to fix the broken window. Most comprehensive insurance policies include coverage for drivers to replace the windshields on a car if they are completely cracked. The driver usually just has to pay their normal insurance costs, and sometimes the deductible established for their unique motor vehicles. The most important thing is your safety as a driver, so insurance companies must follow state laws for repair regulation.
If your front window chips due to an unexpected issue, unrelated to an accident, perhaps caused by a falling object or other miscellaneous objects, you’ll need to determine if it distorts your vision. Car insurance companies may still replace the glass at no cost. Especially, if the chips interfere with driver safety and if it impacts a driver’s vision.
A damaged windshield that is shattered poses the greatest issue for motorists. A small hairpin crack does not necessarily distort a driver’s vision, but vehicles with completely broken glass, according to state regulations, must be repaired immediately. While the details of the rules related to the type of glass shatter will vary by location and state, more often than not, if the shatter is more than a few inches, the regulations call for total replacement so that the car is up to code.
Insurance and Windshield Repairs
Since it is dangerous to drive with impaired visibility, in most states it is illegal to drive a vehicle with a broken windshield. The best approach is to find out from the car insurance companies before starting with their services what they will include in your policy. Then, you’ll know what could be covered under your service contract.
Is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windshield?
The regulations and laws differ in different states. Below is an in-depth review of the legal status of driving vehicles with cracked windshields in each state, including New York, Texas, Florida, and California. You may want to consult the California State Transportation Agency website to determine the legal status of driving with cracked windshields in the state of California.
Each state has developed a unique code to ensure driver safety. Some states may simply assess a traffic ticket, while in other states they may require a comprehensive and complete fix or repair of windshields with cracks.
It’s up to each driver to consider if they’d rather pay the cost of a ticket if they are caught driving a vehicle with a crack, rather than just complete the repairs in advance according to the local law.
Cracked Windshield Laws by State
Each state is tasked with determining the law for vehicle safety for its residents. Some states require drivers to service the windshield cracks within hours of the damage, while others will allow car owners to use the vehicle if the cracks don’t impair vision and are smaller than a few inches.
To determine if your auto windshield needs to be replaced immediately, read through a review of a few laws based on the different states below. Contact your state’s transportation department directly to determine if your windshield legally needs to be replaced.
Cracked Windshield Laws in New York, Texas, Florida, and California
A few of the most common laws regarding driving with a windshield crack can be illustrated with the laws of states like New York, Texas, Florida, and California.
Windshield Laws by State
If the crack in your auto windshield in New York is longer than 11 inches, it won’t pass inspection, and it is against the law to operate.
It’s not advisable to drive with a crack or chip in your front car window in New York. It’s recommended to get your auto windows repaired within hours of the damage to assure that you avoid legal trouble.
Sometimes the repairs take time, or replacement windows require a special order.
The main concerns of the windshield law in New York are visibility and motorist wellbeing. It’s the same way the tint laws are formulated, which strive to ensure clear visibility.
The bottom line: if the cracks distort the driver’s ability to see, have the piece repaired.
In Texas, vehicles are not required to have a windshield by law. If your vehicle does have a windshield, cracks simply must not impede the line of sight of the driver.
In Texas, there is not a free windshield replacement policy, but a comprehensive insurance plan will ensure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket if it comes time to replace the front window.
Florida is an ideal place for a windshield to crack because Florida law requires that a windshield that is cracked or chipped must be replaced free of charge. The law further states that the deductible will be waived in order to replace the front pane in Florida.
Any windshield or rearview window that distorts the driver’s view is illegal in the state of California. Just like in Texas, windshield repairs or replacements in California are not necessarily free but are often covered by a comprehensive insurance policy.
Check with your auto insurance agency to determine if a windshield repair is covered under your policy.
Also, similar to Texas law, it’s not necessarily illegal to operate a vehicle without a windshield in California. However, if it doesn’t have a front window, you are required to wear eye protection.
How to repair a cracked windshield
Making repairs on a cracked windshield can be simple or complicated depending on your skill level with window replacement. Much like DIY car window tinting, you’ll want to follow the right steps for the best outcome.
At-Home Windshield Repair Kits
If you have relatively small-sized damage, cracks, or a chipped section, a DIY windshield repair kit can help you protect the damaged section, and prevent the damage from spreading further. It will keep your repair costs low, but it won’t completely remove the issue.
Check with the National Windshield Repair Division to see which DIY kit is the best quality for your damage type.
You may opt to totally replace your windshield if the window glass is tempered, and not laminated, as this will ensure you are safe in the event of further damage through a car accident, or if the crack spreads.
What is the Best Way to Repair your Auto Glass Damaged
If the damage to your windshield is small (less than a few inches in diameter or length) you can opt for an at-home repair kit. This will protect and preserve the damage as it is, and prevent it from worsening.
If the damage to your windshield is larger than 6-8 inches, it’s time for a complete replacement.
Communicate with your insurance company, and check local/state laws regarding windshield replacement to see if your policy or state guidelines offer glass coverage.
Drive Safe, Not Sorry
If you’ve got a crack in your automobile’s front window glass it may be tempting to leave it as is and keep operating your car. However, glass damage can quickly become an issue for your own clear vision on the road, and your overall wellbeing, and for the wellbeing of other motorists.
The best thing to do is communicate with your insurance company, and opt for glass coverage for your vehicle, as well as educate yourself on the rules in your state.
Opt to be a safe driver!
If you need tools to work on your car window or want to review local rules in your location, visit our website for more information.