I've been told before that if you get a crack in your windshield, you should change it right away: that it is dangerous to drive around with a crack in your windshield.

On the other hand, I know several people who have driven around with major cracking in their windshields for several years without any trouble. How dangerous is this really?

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    Good question, the only danger I can think of is the danger of a glare from the sun hitting the crack causing an issue seeing or cracks all in your line of sight obstructing view. That and the danger of a fine... – cory Sep 19 '16 at 18:56
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    Maybe as dangerous as not wearing a seatbelt? Plenty of people do it without any trouble just fine... – djechlin Sep 20 '16 at 1:16
  • @djechlin, I like the analogy. In other words, it could be dangerous, even though 99% chance it won't? – anonymous2 Sep 20 '16 at 1:31
  • I'm not sure if it's 90% or 99% or 99.999% (and if I did know, I would have posted an answer). But that's the idea -- I wanted to offer a way to think about how it's both "very dangerous" and "you know people who drove around for several years without trouble." Rest assured, those people are in a lot more danger than they would if their windshields were in good repair. – djechlin Sep 20 '16 at 1:56

There are limits on the amount of cracking allowed on a windscreen before it fails safety inspection. Obviously, if your car isn't in a state/county that requires safety inspection, that's irrelevant.

What is relevant is the fact the windscreen is an integral part of the structural strength of the car. If it's cracked, it's weakened, and may cause more damage in an accident.

Cracks in a windscreen never heal themselves, and only ever get worse. I'd recommend getting them fixed quickly, but I wouldn't drop everything and run to the windscreen store.

  • As a guideline; If a chip can be covered by a Quarter, it can be repaired. If a crack can be covered by a Dollar bill which is touching the edge of the windscreen, it can be repaired; anything else is a new windscreen. (local rules may be different, of course). – PeteCon Sep 20 '16 at 17:01

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