Is a Cracked Windshield Illegal?

Q: I am having a problem with my new windshield and was wondering is a Cracked windshield illegal? My insurance company says that if a windshield cracks it is not worth fixing. So can you tell me when the windshield is too cracked to drive? Thanks!

Windshield Replacement Altamonte Springs FL

A: It depends. The location and severity of the crack greatly play a part in deciding the legality of the crack. The rules and laws governing auto glass, such as permitted tint, allowable objects and sills, etc., are very different from state to state. In Virginia, for example, a cracked windshield is not a problem unless the vehicle is being operated on a highway or a public road.


However, in Virginia, there are some limits on how much the windshields can be cracked in any given year. This limit usually takes into account the thickness of glass and applies to all vehicle types, even trucks. In other words, if your car has a front windshield that is only 75mm thick, then it cannot crack or shatter into the back windshield. If you live in Virginia and have a front windshield that is only 75mm thick, you may want to consider getting a front windshield that is at least 3 inches thick as well.


In addition to windshield cracks, many states have problems with safety glass. Safety glass is used in place of windshield wipers because the wipers often break and fly out when ice forms on the roads. Most safety glass does not break into pieces, but instead, skates normally cover the broken glass. However, this type of glass does not need to be replaced, as it is strong enough to prevent serious injury.


So, if you live in Virginia and have a crack or broken windshield, what does that mean? If you have uninsured motorist coverage, then it is illegal to repair or replace the windshield without the proper insurance documentation. Many states have this type of law, even if the vehicle itself is insured. What does this mean to you? If you are driving in Virginia, you could get in a serious accident simply because someone was using a windshield without the proper insurance.


If you are wondering about this, you can call a auto glass company, or a windshield repair company, and ask them why windshield cracks are considered to be illegal. The repair shop will tell you that a crack is usually visible to other drivers, and the repair kit will not fix the crack and shatter into the back of the driver’s head, or in other areas. That is why many states have laws against cracked windshields. Even if it is legal to repair the crack on your own car, if other people are driving around with cracked windshields, you could end up in a serious accident, or even die from a broken or cracked windshield.


To know whether your Virginia auto glass policy covers cracks that occur in other states, contact the office of auto insurance in Virginia. In most states, a claim must be filed within a certain amount of time after the damage has occurred. In Virginia, that amount of time starts the day you purchase a new or used vehicle, unless your state inspection policy kicks in a few days before that. If you purchase a used car in Virginia, you may want to purchase an inspection certificate, which is actually good in Virginia.


If you live in a state where cracking windshields is illegal, did you know that some states require car owners to purchase window wipers and windshield crack kits? In some states, if you don’t have a windshield crack kit, you can’t fix cracked windshields. It may seem like common sense, but never underestimate the laws regulating automobile insurance. For example, in Virginia, it is illegal to replace a windshield with an approved windshield crack kit. The same is true for chips in tires. Any chips or cracks must be repaired or replaced by a licensed car repair technician.

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