can you drive with a cracked windshield

Can You Drive with a Cracked Windshield?

When traveling, different road conditions and circumstances can cause damage to your car. For example, you hit a large animal, rocks fell from a nearby cliff, or hail cracked your windshield. If you assume you don’t have the money for repairs, you may feel tempted to let it ride.

Now, you may wonder, can you drive with a cracked windshield? Our team at the best auto body shop in Tucson, AZ, says the answer varies. Driving with a cracked windshield could lead to problems, but the results may not be immediate.

If you need reliable care repair service, call us at 520-369-4291.

The Answer Depends on the Crack

Generally, small chips in your windshield will not prevent you from driving on the road in relative safety. After all, a slight disturbance in the shield doesn’t prevent reasonable visibility. You shouldn’t leave it alone for too long, but you can safely drive to a repair specialist.

Trustworthy sources like J.D. Power suggest addressing a windshield chip quickly before it escalates into a crack. If the crack spreads too far, the windshield could break.

The Dangers of a Cracked Windshield

While searching “Can you drive with a cracked windshield?” you should understand why it’s sometimes not a good idea. A cracked or broken windshield can be detrimental to your ability to drive and your vehicle as a whole:

  • Vision obstructions: Cracks and chips can affect your ability to drive by cutting through your sight. They can also reflect sunlight, causing bright spots that can blind you. Cracked windshields also become more susceptible to fog and humidity changes.
  • Weakened protection: Manufacturers make windshields with two layers of glass that they laminate together so the first time it cracks, the glass won’t spray everywhere. The structure weakens after the first crack or chip, meaning it could shatter completely with additional impact.
  • Structural integrity: The cabin relies on the windshield for up to 45% of its structural integrity in front-end collisions. This amount increases to around 60% in rollovers. A cracked or broken windshield will give way and could cause the roof to crush you or your passengers.
  • Legal issues: Under Arizona law, you cannot legally drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield if it obstructs your vision. Cracks and chips wider than one-fourth of an inch become legally significant in such cases.

Why You Should Address Cracks Quickly

If you have a windshield chip or crack, we suggest fixing it quickly. While they may seem small at first, they can quickly get out of hand if you aren’t careful.

Windshield cracks can spread easily with outside stimuli, like bumps in the road, dirt, or temperature changes. As the glass continues to crack, it provides less protection and becomes an increasing health hazard to you and your passengers.

Get Professional Help with Windshield Cracks

Can you drive with a cracked windshield? We don’t advise it, so we help resolve them. At Formula 1 Collision Center, we can quickly identify and repair different kinds of windshield rock chips, hail damage, and more. 

Call 520-369-4291 for expert windshield and vehicle body repairs in Tucson, AZ, and surrounding areas.

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