Is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windscreen?
It’s an offence to operate a vehicle in a dangerous condition. The Highway Code says that you should always have a full view of the road ahead, and that you must keep all the glass in your car in a good condition.
If your windscreen’s cracked on the driver’s side, it’s a clear violation of The Highway Code. But even a small crack on the passenger side can make dazzle and glare from bright lights a lot worse. They can also become a lot worse very quickly if your windscreen was to be hit by something like a stone being flicked up when driving. So no matter how small the crack or chip, driving with a cracked windscreen is a bad idea and it is best to get it fixed as soon as possible.
What’s the Penalty for Driving With a Cracked Windscreen?
There’s a fixed penalty for driving a motor vehicle in a dangerous condition – three points on your licence and a fine.
If police stop you for driving with a cracked windscreen, as well as the fixed penalty notice they may also give you a Vehicle Defect Rectification Notice. This gives you 14 days to fix your cracked windscreen, and you’ll have to prove you’ve made the repairs.
If you’re involved in an accident while driving with a cracked windscreen, there is a possibility you could get charged with a driving offence if it is shown that the accident was your fault, as you were driving with an obstructed view. If it’s a serious accident, you could be taken to court and may find yourself banned from driving.
What To Do If You Spot a Crack or a Chip In Your Windscreen
The smallest chip in your windscreen can soon become a big problem. If you don’t address it immediately, it could spread until it becomes a significant crack.
Significantly cracked windscreens cost a lot more to repair than small chips, too. So act as soon as you see a small chip or crack in your windscreen. It could save you a lot of money, and a lot of trouble, in the long term.
It’s easy to repair small cracks and chips. All it takes is a little injection of epoxy or acrylic adhesive. Sealing the chip stops dirt and moisture from getting in, which will prevent it from growing any further.
Larger cracks are much harder to repair. But you should have no trouble finding a windscreen repair specialist who’ll know what to do. And no matter how much they charge, it’ll cost you less than it would if you decided to ignore the problem.
How to Avoid Cracks and Chips in Your Windscreen
Some cracks and chips are inevitable. They’re unavoidable – a car could speed past you and throw up a stone from the road, chipping your windscreen in the process. It’s frustrating, but it happens!
Yet there are a few things you can do to make cracks and chips less likely:
- Replace your windscreen wiper blades ever so often. This will prevent dirt and debris from building up, which can help prevent cracks and chips.
- Try and keep your distance from vehicles in front of you, to make it less likely that any stones and gravel they throw up will hit your windscreen.
- Drive slowly and carefully on roads with poor surfaces, especially if they have loose stones.
- On frosty days, use an ice-scraper and a de-icing spray to clear your frozen windscreen. Don’t use hot or boiling water, as the sudden change in temperature could crack the glass.
Can I Claim On My Insurance for a Cracked Windscreen?
You can, and at Insure 2 Drive, we offer windscreen cover as part of our comprehensive car insurance policies.
We can cover the cost of repairing or replacing your windscreen, and it won’t affect your no claims discount. For more information on this and the windscreen repair and replacement excess that applies, read our policy wording.