Call Now!


(310) 935-1576

Request a Quote

Timing Your Windshield Repair - Safety Over Convenience

Driving with a cracked windshield is like trying to look through a foggy pair of glasses. It doesn't just look bad, it can be quite risky. The big question for many drivers is: how long can you drive around with that crack before it moves from being a minor annoyance to a major safety hazard? This blog aims to shed light on the impact of a cracked windshield on both visibility and the structural integrity of your vehicle, providing you with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about when to seek auto glass services.

Understanding the Risk

Firstly, it's essential to grasp why a cracked windshield poses such a risk. Your car's windshield is more than just a piece of glass. It's a critical component of your vehicle's safety system, designed not only to provide clear visibility but also to support the structural integrity of the car. In the event of an accident, the windshield helps to prevent the roof from caving in and protects passengers from being ejected. A crack compromises this safety feature, making it much more than a cosmetic issue.

Impact on Visibility

A clear, unobstructed view of the road is paramount to safe driving. Cracks, especially those in the driver's line of sight, can significantly reduce visibility by:

  • Distorting your view of the road.
  • Reflecting sunlight or headlights in a way that blinds or disorients the driver.
  • Potentially leading to eye strain or headaches during longer drives due to the constant need to look through or around the damage.

Impact on Structural Integrity

The windshield contributes significantly to the structural strength of your vehicle. In a front-end collision, the windshield provides up to 45% of the structural integrity of the cabin in a car and up to 60% in a rollover accident. A crack compromises this support, increasing the risk of roof collapse or severe injury in an accident.

Timing Your Windshield Repair - Safety Over Convenience

When to Take Action

So, how long can you drive with a cracked windshield? The truth is, there's no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some general guidelines:

Size and Location Matter: Small chips outside the driver’s direct line of sight may not require immediate attention but should be monitored. Cracks or chips within the driver's view or larger than a dollar bill generally need prompt repair or replacement.

It Can Get Worse :Temperature changes, potholes, or even the vibration of your car's engine can cause a small crack to spread rapidly. What might be safe one day could turn into a significant risk the next.

Legal Requirements : Laws vary by location, but driving with a significantly damaged windshield can be illegal. This is because it's recognized as a safety hazard.

Helpful Tips for Drivers

If you find yourself with a cracked windshield, here are some steps to consider:

Assess the Damage : Note the size and location of the crack. If it’s smaller than a dollar bill and not in your direct line of sight, you might have a bit more time to plan for repair.

Temporary Fixes : While not a long-term solution, clear nail polish or windshield repair kits can temporarily prevent cracks from spreading.

Consult a Professional : For the most accurate advice, take your car to an auto glass service provider. They can assess whether repair or replacement is necessary.

Don't Wait Too Long : If in doubt, it’s better to err on the side of caution. A quick repair can prevent the crack from worsening and keep you safe on the road. For a comprehensive understanding of when to repair or replace your windshield, refer to our cracked windshield guide.

Driving with a cracked windshield is a gamble not worth taking. While it might seem like an inconvenience or an unnecessary expense, timely repair is crucial for your safety and that of your passengers. Remember, what starts as a small crack can quickly become a significant problem, impacting your visibility and the structural integrity of your vehicle. By understanding the risks and knowing when to take action, you can ensure your car remains a safe mode of transportation. So, next time you notice a crack, don't delay. Seek professional auto glass services to address the issue and keep your focus on the road ahead, clear and unobstructed.

Contact Information

Cityline Mobile Auto Glass



555 E. Carson St. #128, Carson, CA 90745

Working Hours

Monday to Sunday 7 am - 9 pm


(310) 935-1576

Request a Quote