When Will A Cop Pull You Over For A Cracked Windshield?

Your car’s windshield protects the occupants from wind, rain, sleet, and snow while offering the best possible clear visibility. Therefore, the windshield is very susceptible to damage such as chips and cracks. This is especially true since windshields are made of glass.

A very common question among motorists is if it’s possible to drive with a damaged windshield. Will a cop pull you over if you drive with a cracked windshield?

This post should help highlight the answers.

Is It Safe to Drive with a Cracked Windshield?

Can you drive a car with a cracked windshield? The short answer is yes. However, it will depend on a number of factors.

  • Size of the crack – The size of the chip of crack is one of the main considerations if it’s safe to drive with a damaged windshield. If the crack is rather long and spread out, there are laws that will prohibit you from driving. Under California’s Vehicle Code (VC) Section 26710, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield if it impairs the driver’s vision.
  • Position of the crack – The position of the crack is also considered. If the crack is situated in front of the passenger side, you should be able to drive until you can get the windshield repaired or replaced. On the flip side, if the crack obscures the driver’s view of the road, it’s illegal to drive.
  • The extent of the damage – If the crack is less than six to twelve inches long, a windshield repair should still be in the table. However, if the damage is quite significant, there’s no other way but to replace the entire windshield altogether. Take note that some small cracks and chips can spread and grow. Therefore, it should be in your best interest to have it repaired as soon as possible.

Will a Cop Pull You Over When You Drive with a Cracked Windshield?

Whether it’s on the windshield or rear window, driving with any defects that can impair the driver’s vision will have you pulled over by law enforcement. The defects, however, are not standardized so it’s up to the discretion of the ticketing officer to determine if the defects can obscure the driver’s view.

Once the officer determines that the defect doesn’t comply with the code, he or she will direct the driver to repair or replace the windshield within 48 hours.

Any driver that doesn’t comply with the windshield laws is subjected to fines up to $250.

Repair or Replace Your Windshield Asap

If you have a cracked or chipped windshield, it should be in your best interest to have it repaired or replaced as soon as you can. It’s not just about avoiding a ticket, a damaged windshield is a safety hazard. You are putting yours and other people’s safety at risk.

An average cost of replacing the windshield is around $350. A small price to pay considering that you can be fined as much as $250 and still be required to have the windshield repaired or replaced.

In the case of a damaged or cracked windshield, your best course of action is to bring your vehicle to a certified technician like San Diego Auto Glass and Tint. Repair or replace your car’s windshield so you can get back on the road safely.

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