The Dangers of Driving with a Cracked Windshield
A chip or crack in the windshield of your car or truck may seem like a minor blemish, but is it serious enough to endanger yourself or others when driving?
Obstruction of view
An obvious feature of a windshield is for the driver to be able to see the road clearly. Many states, including Michigan, do not have any specific laws or regulations about cars or trucks with windshield damage. However, a police officer has the discretion to pull you over and decide if any cracks or chips are obstructing your view of the road, regardless of where they are located. And, depending on the severity of the windshield damage, an officer can also establish whether or not your vehicle is even safe enough to drive.
Weakened roof support
Your windshield has an integral job to prevent the car roof from caving in on you and your passengers during a rollover. Any cracks in your windshield may weaken the structural integrity of the entire cabin area, causing an increased chance of injuries or fatalities.
When airbags deploy during a collision, it deflects off the windshield and momentarily expands to keep passengers from flying out of their seats or hitting the dashboard. If the windshield is weakened, the force of the airbag may break through the windshield instead and compromise the safety of those inside.
Extreme temperatures during the summer and winter months cause windshield glass to expand and contract, which may cause any cracks to spread out. Pressure from travelling at high speeds may also increase any damage on windshields. If you have a chip or a spider crack that is starting to grow, that likely means your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced.
If you have any cracks, chips, or other damage on your car windshield, it's important not to ignore it. Have it inspected by a reputable mechanic or professional auto glass technician immediately before it's too late.