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Will I Get Fined For Not Repairing a Windshield Crack?

Feb 28, 2022Auto Glass

Picture this- you’re driving along, chatting with your friend in the passenger seat, on your way to lunch somewhere on a beautiful, sunny Arizona afternoon. You merge onto the highway. Next thing you know, “crack!” Somehow, a small rock has been shot into your windshield. You hope it didn’t, but it did – it cracked your windshield.  

This scenario (or some variation of it) is all too common. Considering Arizona is number one in the country for auto glass repair, many fellow motorists face the dilemma — to ride it out or to fix it? Taking your chances on getting a ticket may seem like the easier option, but we’re here to help you understand why repairing or replacing your windshield is the best choice. 

Safety Risks and Auto Glass

Just because you can see through your windshield does not necessarily make it safe or legal. Your windshield is designed to provide safety from the outside elements and optimal visibility. So, if your windshield is now sporting the look of stars, horseshoes, craters, or bullseyes, it may be time to reevaluate the safety of your windshield. This could be deemed as distracting and impairing. It only takes a split second to make an error of judgment. 

Additionally, the windshield plays a huge role in supporting the vehicle. With a cracked or chipped windshield, the overall structural integrity of the glass is compromised, potentially causing problems with braking effectiveness. Unfortunately, in the case of a rollover accident, the front end of the car has the potential to collapse in on you and your passengers, significantly intensifying the damage of the event. 

Most critically, in the case of a severe accident, if the windshield glass is not in good condition, you can not expect it to do its job in protecting you and your passengers as it is intended to. Windshields are designed with a safety feature to allow the laminated glass to break but not shatter, minimizing injuries in collisions. 

Even seemingly insignificant cracks and chips can impact your windshield’s ability to hold your vehicle’s airbags in place, making it where the airbags could deploy incorrectly. 

These are not risks you want to take. 

The Law and Cracked Windshields

The first thing to keep in mind is federal versus state laws when it comes to vehicle safety. 

Seeing as Arizona state laws are less specific in what they are looking for, it might be helpful to follow some of these federal guidelines:

  • Chips, cracks, and other forms of damage must be smaller than three-quarters of an inch in diameter. 
  • You cannot have multiple cracks that intersect each other.
  • Damage areas cannot be within three inches of each other.
  • No damage or discoloration should be present in the center of the windshield.

However, Arizona windshield-visibility law clearly states that it is illegal to drive with a crack in your windshield that impairs the vision of the driver. What exactly is this area defined as? This critical vision area is defined by federal requirements as the area directly above the steering wheel, two inches from the top, and one inch from the sides. 

In states such as Arizona, there is no specific requirement for what kind of damage qualifies as a ‘visual impairment’ and is left to the discretion of the law-enforcement officer that has pulled you over. The average ticket for impaired vision due to a cracked windshield in Arizona is around $100 to $150. The alternative is to get it repaired, but your schedule is tight and you’re already juggling enough. 

MobileTech Auto Glass has the solution you’re looking for. 

Finding Auto Glass Repair and Replacement 

Remember the situation we described earlier? As soon as you heard that crack, your mind flooded with thoughts of “how am I going to pay for this?” or “how am I going to find the time to deal with this?” There is nothing worse than having to go somewhere and wait around for someone to perform an unexpected repair. 

The good news is, MobileTech Auto Glass understands that time is a precious commodity. That’s why we come to you for your auto glass needs. Repair, replacement, or a number of other auto glass services, we are there to take care of you and get you back on the road quickly and safely. 

And if you are worried about insurance, Arizona ARS 20-263 law states that filing a “no-fault” cracked windshield replacement claim will not raise your rates. MobileTech Auto Glass gladly works with all car insurance providers and even offers you instant cash rebates! 

Questions? Let us know! We’re happy to help. 

Book your appointment today!

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