Have you ever had a cracked windshield and someone told you it was illegal to drive that way? Depending on the state you’re in- they aren’t wrong. Whether it be cost or insurance issues, some drivers put off repairing their cracked windshield. Others simply aren’t informed that you don’t drive with a cracked windshield for safety reasons. They think there’s no danger if the windshield is mostly fine, or slightly cracked, but that’s not the case and it can end up costing you more than a new windshield alone.
Today’s windshields are made up with a type of strong, resilient glass called ‘laminated glass’ that is completely different from the glass in your home. Laminated glass is made up of two pieces of glass with a thin layer of film between them. These separate layers are fused together through massive amounts of heat and pressure, and it is much stronger than your average glass window.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drive with a Cracked Windshield
1. Driver Visibility
One tiny crack in the windshield can quickly spread over time, making it a bigger issue later. Especially with extreme temperature changes, anything that strikes the glass, or that causes pressure to increase from traveling can all affect a cracked windshield. This is very important because a shattered windshield can reduce your driver visibility safety and make it dangerous to drive.
2. Structural Strength
The windshield is a crucial part of your vehicle’s body frame. In the situation of a collision, the impact can shift and create damage to another part of the car, but having a windshield provides a reduction in impact, and that can protect or lessen the damage to the vehicle and its passengers. If the windshield is already cracked or damaged, then it is more likely to break or shatter first, thus, not giving the expected impact shift. This is the same concept used during a rollover accident; if the strength of the windshield is already weakened by a fracture, then the roof could easily cave in.
3. Airbag Deployment
If you’re ever in an auto accident, the airbags are immediately deployed to cushion the impact and protect passengers from severe injuries. In order for an airbag to properly work, it needs to push off of the area of the windshield so that it can shift toward the passenger. But if a windshield is damaged or cracked, this could very easily prevent the airbag from deploying the way it should and working properly. In the end, safety is what is most important when you think about why you don’t drive with a cracked windshield. It all boils down to common sense for yourself, your passengers, and the drivers around you.