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How Long You Can Drive with a Cracked Windshield

February 19, 2020

How Long You Can Drive with a Cracked Windshield

A cracked windshield is a major problem, regardless of the location of the crack or its severity.  People often inquire as to how long they can safely drive with a crack in their windshield.  In general, it is prudent to make a beeline to a windshield replacement/repair service as soon as the crack occurs.  However, we understand heading directly over to our site for windshield analysis, repair/replacement and additional assistance is not always feasible in the immediate aftermath of such an unfortunate event.  Let’s take a look at how to best proceed in the event of a cracked windshield.

Why You Should Have the Windshield Crack Repaired Soon

Fail to have your windshield rack repaired in a timely manner and it is only a matter of time until it expands.  If the crack expands, the windshield will require an even costlier repair or potentially spur comparably expensive replacement.  Wait too long to have your windshield tended to by the professionals and additional damage will inevitably set in.

The Size of the Crack or Chip Matters

If the crack is lengthy, there is a good chance it will interfere with your field of vision as you drive, putting you as well as your vehicle passengers and other drivers on the road in harm’s way.  Furthermore, there are laws on the books that bar driving a vehicle with a lengthy crack in the windshield. 

Alternatively, if the crack is diminutive and out of your primary line of vision when behind the wheel, it is not as significant of an issue.  It is quite possible you will be able to drive around town for a week or longer with a minor chip or crack in your windshield.  However, as noted above, cracks in windshields eventually expand so it better to let our professionals address this problem on your behalf as soon as possible rather than taking a risk that the problem will quickly worsen.

How Does the Crack Impact the Windshield’s Structural Integrity?

If the crack threatens your windshield’s structural integrity, it is a clue the windshield is not safe enough for driving.  However, if you are like most drivers, you do not have the experience necessary to gauge when your vehicle’s structural integrity is at risk.  Most people are unaware of the fact that the windshield glass bolsters the chassis, making it easier for the roof to remain intact amidst a rollover accident or another type of collision. 

Location is of the Utmost Importance

If the crack or chip is located in the corner, very bottom, top or far side of the windshield, you can continue to drive in the near future, yet the problem will eventually have to be addressed.  Otherwise, the crack will subsequently expand in due time.  If the crack begins to spider out across the windshield, it will block your field of vision, making driving that much more difficult.  If you end up in an accident with such weakened glass directly in front of you, it will not provide the protection it was designed to provide, ultimately leaving you that much more susceptible to injury.

Do the Smart Thing by Asking the Pros for Assistance

Do not assume your compromised windshield will hold strong for another couple of weeks or months.  Even a small amount of pressure will further weaken your windshield, making your vehicle even more dangerous to ride in.  Make the right choice by leaning on our auto glass aficionados for an assessment, repair or replacement.