As you may already know, the windshield is a very vital part of your vehicle. It’s one of the extremely important parts that provide ensures the car safety. Its primary purposes include the blockage of wind, rain, snow and sleet while at the same time providing the driver with visibility. The material of the windshield is, however, glass which is generally fragile. This is the case even the tempered safety glasses used today. Nature usually doesn’t forgive the glass on the windshield as a rock may fall and crack it at any time weather. So, you won’t be able to completely avoid such incidents from happening. The important question is whether it’s safe to drive your car when the windshield is cracked. To answer this question, there are a few things that should be taken into account regarding the crack.
Size of the Crack
The size of the crack is definitely one of the most sensitive considerations when it comes to the question of safety. If yours is a long or large crack, there may be safety regulations that require you to not drive with it before replacement. It then would be a smart move to have it replaced before you can drive to ensure your car safety. On the other hand, if the crack is relatively smaller, you may still be allowed to safely drive around with it for extended periods of time. But, it’s recommended that repair it so as to improve the integrity of the windshield glass.
The position of the Crack
Where the crack is located on your windshield is another important aspect for you to consider before deciding whether to drive or not. A small crack on the side of the passenger side should not cause you any major problems while driving. You can safely continue driving but as is the expectation of the law, you should find a way to repair or replace the glass. But if it significantly interferes with your view as the driver, it’s most likely against the law to continue driving in this state. As such, you’re expected to replace or repair the glass right away.
Is It a Growing Crack?
Most small cracks have the tendency of growing from their small state into huge cracks within a period of driving. This is due to the fact that as the glass contracts and expands due to temperature fluctuations, a strain is caused by the glass and in turn extends it. Since the crack is a point of weakness in the glass the flexing of the glass can cause it to grow. So, this happens as you keep driving with it, the result will be a huge crack within a short time. This is why you should replace your windshield or repair it the moment you get it.
Should Replace or just Repair the Crack
In some cases, a simple repair can be done to the crack on the windshield and still be driven in. In other cases, it may not be safe at all. Repairs can be done to cracks that are between 6 and 12 inches in length. A chip that is smaller than an inch can also be repaired. However, any damage to the windshield that is more than 12 inches in length would typically require you to completely replace it. These damages are significant and are a threat to car safety.
Having a crack inspected no matter how small it may be is a great car safety practice. It’s important for you to know that a car cannot go through a UK MOT test with a chipped/ cracked windscreen. A repair may be done in time to prevent it from growing and hence compromising your safety. The cracks may grow and allow leaking into the vehicle and eventually negate the car safety entirely when it’s completely broken down.