Posted by & filed under Bennett Dunlop Ford, Better at Bennett, Carman Ford, Maintenance Tips, Safety, Useful Tips, Winter Driving.

Beautiful, wide-open spaces, down-to-earth people, and multiculturalism—all are characteristics that make Canadians proud. But for drivers, mainly those in the Prairie Provinces, there’s an aspect to living here that draws sighs, obscenities, and lighter wallets:

Cracked Windshield C

Due to Saskatchewan and Manitoba’s heavy reliance on sand and gravel to make our roadways navigable in the winter, damaged windshields from spraying debris are a common fixture.

However, aside from it being an unsightly mark on your car (like a scratch or dent), is a cracked windshield actually a safety hazard?

Glass damage can impair your visibility

If a stone chip has spider-webbed to a considerable size or has evolved into a series of cracks running along the area swept by your wiper blades, you could be nailed with a ticket from the police. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the fine for driving with a crack that impairs your sightlines is $115. Of course, this up to the officer’s discretion, and at the least, you’ll get a warning to promptly have it repaired.

Glass damage lessens its structural integrity

Have you been driving a vehicle that looks like it’s seen action on a Hollywood movie stunt? Car windshields are an important safety system: designed to keep wind and debris out, while keeping you in.

Today’s windshields are manufactured with two outer glass sections held together with a strong vinyl inner layer. This makes it very resilient to impacts, but if the damage is severe enough, its structural strength will be lowered in the event of a collision.

When should I get my windshield repaired?

As soon as you spot a chip or crack, we recommend getting it fixed right away. Why? It’ll save you money. If left untouched, glass damage can widen and spread from drastic swings in temperature, fluids entering the crack, or pressure from cleaning.

As long as the chip is no bigger than the size of a loonie, or the crack is within 12 inches in length, a reputable glass service shop will be able to repair it without needing to replace the whole windshield. On-the-spot repairs are made by creating a vacuum-tight seal and then injecting a clear polymer into the crack. Expect to pay around $50.

But if the damage is more extensive, a brand new windshield can range in price from $300 for an older car to well over $1000 for a brand new luxury vehicle. Be sure to check your auto insurance policy. You may have comprehensive coverage that will take care of most of the bill.

Glazier repairing stone-chipping damage on car's windshield

How to choose a glass repair shop?

Before settling on a windshield repair centre, check out their website or call around with a few quick questions:

  • Do they carry OEM (original equipment manufacturer) certified glass?
  • Are they approved by provincial transport standards?
  • How long do they let a vehicle sit after replacing the windshield? (Proper glass adhesion can take up to 12 hours.)

Stay tuned for more car tips!

Check back here next time to learn about aftermarket vehicle warranties and when it would be smart to invest in one.

Share your experience

  • When do you choose to replace your windshield?
  • Ever been ticketed for having a vision-obstructing crack?
  • Any weird ways you’ve received a damaged windshield?

5 Responses to “Is It Safe to Drive with a Cracked Windshield?”

    • slucci

      For sure! And can you imagine how those people must feel getting that bill just days after getting a $115 ticket for driving with impaired sightlines? Yowzers!

  1. Douglas Brown

    I had to drive with a cracked windshield for a while and I would definitely NOT recommend it! It is not a good time at all. This article gives great tips and I would say that the very moment that you see a crack or chip that you should get it fixed. Unfortunately for me, the crack was behind my rear view mirror, and so I didn’t see it until it was already too big for a simple fix!

  2. Sam Fisher

    I always see people driving with a cracked windshield and I wonder why they haven’t gotten it repaired yet. I think that if you notice any kind of damage to your windshield, that you get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you have a safety inspection coming up and your windshield is cracked, you will be required to get it replaced before you can pass the inspection. Not only can a cracked windshield impair your vision, but it is also a safety issue. Do yourself a favor and get it fixed as soon as possible!

  3. Scott Johnson

    I’ve had to drive with a cracked windshield before and it is a terrible experience, it would always catch the glare of the sun and put it directly into my eyes! Eventually I was able to get it replaced, but not for a while. I really like how you recommend people getting their windshield damage repaired as soon as possible in order to save money! I drove around with mine for months and it ended up doubling the cost of the repairs. This is a great article, thanks for the helpful information!


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