Can You Drive With a Cracked Windshield? Laws and Consequences

Written by Oliver

April 3, 2023

Maintaining your vehicle’s safety and legality, particularly with windshield integrity, is essential for responsible car ownership. It’s about protecting yourself, your passengers, and ensuring compliance with traffic laws.

In most states, it is illegal to drive with a cracked windshield, and you may be subject to a fine if you are caught. However, there are some circumstances in which you may be able to drive with a crack in your windshield.

If the crack is small and does not obstruct your view, you may be able to continue driving until you can get the windshield replaced. However, it is important to have the issue fixed as soon as possible to avoid making the problem worse.

Photo of the stone chip on a windshield, that is matured into the large web of cracks

The Consequences of Driving With a Cracked Windshield

Young guy's neck is hurting after the car accident, car is smashed

As a car owner, you shoulder a significant responsibility – not just for your own safety but for the safety of your passengers and fellow road users. Ensuring that your vehicle is safe and legal is not merely a matter of compliance with the law; it’s a fundamental aspect of responsible car ownership.

A broken windshield is more than just an eyesore. It can also be a serious safety hazard. The structural integrity of the windshield is crucial for keeping the roof of the car from collapsing in the event of a rollover accident.

Even a small crack can reduce the strength of the windshield and make it more likely to break in a collision.

Moreover, windshield cracks can obstruct the driver’s view and make it difficult to see potential hazards on the road.

Can You Get a Fine for Driving With a Cracked Windshield?

In many states, it is against the law to drive with a damaged windshield. The reason for this is that windshield cracks can impair the driver’s vision and increase the risk of an accident.

In some states, the fine for driving with a cracked windshield is as much as $120. In addition to the fine, the driver may also be required to have the windshield repaired or replaced before they can continue driving.

If you are caught driving with a windshield crack, be sure to get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid getting a ticket.

You can read more about specific windshield laws in your state here:

Photo of the stone chip on a windshield, that is matured into the large web of cracks


What to do if You Get a Crack in Your Windshield

Auto glass technician is cutting old urethane from the pinch weld during the windshield replacement process

If you have a crack in your windshield, it’s important to take action right away.

In most cases, the best option is to replace the entire windshield. This may seem like an expense you can’t afford, but keep in mind that driving with a damaged windshield is dangerous.

Not only does it impair your visibility, but it also makes car occupants more vulnerable to injuries in case of an accident. If you’re not sure whether you need a full replacement or just a repair, it’s always best to consult with a professional. They’ll be able to assess the damage and recommend the best course of action.

US Auto Glass have you covered!

When it comes to your windshield, don’t take any chances – call US Auto Glass today! We offer free quotes on all of our services, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal. And if you’re not sure whether you need a full replacement or just a repair, our experts will be happy to advise you!

How to Tell if Your Windshield Needs to be Replaced

As your car’s first line of defense against the outside world, your windshield plays an important role in keeping you safe while driving. However, over time, windshields can become damaged and need to be replaced. So how can you tell if your windshield needs to be replaced?

Start by looking for cracks or chips in the glass. If the damage is smaller than a quarter, it can usually be repaired. However, if the damage is larger or if there are multiple chips within a small area, then it’s time for a replacement.

Stone chip on the windshield, that is matured into the crack, windshield requires replacement

Does Windshield Replacement Expensive?

Wooden cubes with "cost" letters on them. Cubes are on the coins. Cost interpretation

The cost to replace a windshield will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of glass that is used. In general, however, you can expect to pay between $200 and $1000 for a new windshield. If your vehicle has a rain/light sensor, ADAS camera, or other features that require special attention, the cost may be higher.

We made a separate blog post that covers in detail how much windshield replacement cost and what you are paying for.

How Time Consuming is Windshield Replacement?

New windshield installation process, yellow suction cups are on the windshield.

According to most auto glass experts, it should take no longer than an hour to replace a windshield. However, the actual time required can vary depending on a number of factors.

For instance, if the car has any damage around the frame of the windshield, it may need to be repaired before the new glass can be installed. In addition, the type of adhesive used to attach the windshield plays a role in how long it takes to set.

Ultimately, though, most experts agree that an hour is a reasonable estimate for replacing a windshield. Of course, this does not include the time required to clean up any broken glass or remove any debris from the windshield area.

With those factors taken into account, the entire process may take up to two hours.

Does the Insurance Company Covers Windshield Replacement Services?


Most major insurance companies will cover the cost of having your windshield replaced if it is damaged by a covered event, such as a collision or hail storm. However, there may be a deductible that you are responsible for paying before the insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of the replacement.

Usually, you must have at least comprehensive coverage to get your auto glass covered.

In some cases, your insurance company may also offer a discounted rate for having your windshield replaced by an approved vendor. If you are not sure whether or not your insurance company covers windshield replacement services, you can check your policy documents or contact your agent to find out.

Car insurance contract, pen and car keys on the table, close up


Close up of a long crack in a windshield

Depending on the severity of the crack, you may be able to continue driving for a short period of time. However, it’s important to understand the consequences of doing so, as well as any potential fines you may incur.

If you do get a crack in your windshield, there are several things you can do, including replacing it entirely. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but if done correctly, it will prolong the life of your car.

Insurance companies typically cover full windshield replacement, so be sure to check with yours before proceeding.

Have you ever had to deal with windshield cracks? Let us know in the comments below!



Oliver Nordsve is a unique individual with bilingual skills; he speaks five languages and is a father of 4 lovely children. In his spare time, he loves to prepare big meals for the family, go for long walks and meditate every morning. He has worked in the auto glass industry for 15 years and is a company veteran. At, he is the head of business development which, during his time, has evolved into a business with several branches globally. Oliver used to replace windshields on trucks and buses during his time with MAN.


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Welcome to our latest blog post, where we invite you on an enlightening journey into the world of auto glass replacements across the United States.

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