There are different laws in each state pertaining to a cracked windshield. Having a damaged windshield can lead to a variety of hazards, and in California, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle with a crack in the windshield which makes auto glass replacement important.
California Law for Defective Windshields and Rear Window
Under California Law, Vehicle Code 26710 it states it is unlawful to operate a motorized vehicle on the roadways if the windshield or rear window are in a defective condition, and impair a driver’s vision either to the rear or front of the vehicle.
If the windshield does not comply with this code, an officer of the Law will direct the driver they have 48 hours in which to make auto glass replacement for whichever window is in disrepair conform to the requirements of Penal Code 26710.
The officer is allowed to arrest the driver and give them notice to appear with the requirement the driver, or the owner of the vehicle produce satisfactory evidence in court as to the proper repairs having been completed.
Which Vehicles are Affected by the Law?
The law enforcing proper windshield and rear windows affects all private and public motor vehicles. The law also covers any trucks, buses, passenger vehicles, fire trucks and engines, and husbandry implements.
Are There any Exceptions to this Law?
The only exceptions to this Law are if you are driving a vehicle which does not require a windshield. Your vehicle would have to have identification plates issued before Section 5004 was put into Law for this exception to apply.
Why is a Cracked Windshield Dangerous?
Impaired vision is the main concern with a cracked windshield, but not the only one. With a crack in your windshield, it is no longer as strong, and if involved in an accident, it could cause severe damages.
If your vehicle is involved in a rollover accident, the windshield is designed to be strong enough to keep your roof from crushing more than five inches from the force. If the vehicle is involved in a front end crash, the windshield and its sealing system have been designed to keep at least fifty percent of the glass sealed to the car. This sealing process helps to keep occupants from being ejected through the windshield area.
When there is damage to your windshield, or it is cracked, the strength of the windshield is compromised. It no longer is able to help reduce the risk of injuries if involved in an accident.
Does a Cracked Windshield Have to be Replaced or Repaired?
A professional glass installer, such as Dan’s Glass can inspect your damaged windshield to determine if the crack can be repaired, or if you need an entirely new windshield.
The difference between having a new windshield installed or having a crack repaired will depend on the extent of the damage. If a crack is less than three inches in length, or if there is less than a quarter-sized chip, chances are good, the windshield can be repaired.
If the windshield is cracked in direct line of the driver’s vision, some professionals will decline to attempt a fix. Even a repair located in this area of the windshield will affect your vision while driving.
If the damage to your windshield is too severe to fix, you may end up spending a couple of hundred dollars to have it replaced. This cost may seem high to some, but consider the alternatives of possible fines from an arrest, or severe injuries during an accident.