Why You Shouldn’t Drive Around With A Chipped Windshield

A chipped windshield can happen in so many different ways. When you’ve got vehicles traveling at great speeds, even small objects can cause damage, from stones off of passing trucks to nuts falling from trees. The good news? That windshield is protecting debris from coming through and hitting you! The bad news? Now you’ve got a chip in your windshield.

You may look at it as “just a chip” but windshield chips shouldn’t be left unchecked, for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at the key reasons, and why you should get that chip fixed or your windshield replaced as soon as possible!

Chips Distract and Obstruct Vision

Cracks and chips in the windshield, particularly if they are directly in front of the driver, can be a major issue for vehicle operation. These can collect dirt, water, and other grim which can blur or decrease visibility. The cracking and chipping can cause reflection and refraction of sunlight, and could even cause distortion of vision depending on where they are on the glass. This can be exacerbated in foggy, stormy, or otherwise poor driving conditions. It can also be a bigger issue with smaller objects like rocks or small animals, making these harder to see.
Chipped windshield At  Bobby Rahal Acura in Mechanicsburg, PA | Silver car driving with cracked windshield on driver side during a cloudy day
Chipped Windshields Diminish Crash Protection

Every part of the shell of your vehicle is integral to the overall crashworthiness of your car, truck, or SUV. Your windshield provides structural integrity to the cabin of your vehicle. This is important in front-end, rear-end, and side collisions – but in the case of a rollover, it’s incredibly important, with up to 60% of the absorption of force being done by the windshield! The windshield helps to support the roof, preventing the crushing and collapsing of the roof. Additionally, the windshield helps airbags to deploy correctly – they depend on an intact windshield to use as a backstop for expansion.

If your windshield is chipped, it won’t provide the structural support it needs. This could result in worse performance in an accident. Safety is a big factor in choosing a vehicle - why would you drive around with the safety compromised when a chipped windshield is an easy fix?
Chipped windshield At  Bobby Rahal Acura in Mechanicsburg, PA | Big crack at the top of front windshield spreading out
Chips Lead to Cracks

Chips don’t stay chips forever. Everything from temperature and moisture changes to simply hitting a bump or a pothole can cause chips to become bigger chips, and then extend further into cracks. This could even happen just by driving at high speeds for long periods of time, where more air pressure is pushing on your windshield. The bigger the chip gets, and as it grows into a crack, the more expensive it is to repair! What starts as a DIY quick-fix chip can turn into a full windshield replacement real soon.

It Could Be Illegal

There are a number of laws and regulations surrounding vehicles – and a windshield chip or crack could be breaking them! It all depends on the chips and cracks, where you’re driving, and the discretion of an officer. In some states, there are laws that state that it’s illegal to drive a vehicle that risks the safety of passengers or other drivers. A chip or crack that is in the driver’s range of vision could be considered to be preventing clear vision, creating an unsafe vehicle. Some other states may explicitly require windshields to be free of cracks and chips to be considered roadworthy. In most cases, if your state requires vehicle inspections, a chipped or cracked windshield is cause for a failed inspection.

The good news is, it’s easy to avoid these headaches, safety concerns, and the potential for increasingly greater damage to your windshield. Get your chipped or cracked windshield in for service the minute you notice it! Come talk to our team about the best options for your vehicle to get your windshield taken care of and back on the road as soon as possible at Bobby Rahal Acura, or take a look at our inventory online.