There’s no convenient time for auto glass damage to occur, and for many drivers, finding the time to tend to repairs can be challenging. At Centennial Auto Glass, we understand you’re busy, and oftentimes, making space in your schedule for auto glass repair or replacement simply isn’t feasible.


If you’re stuck driving around with a cracked or chipped windshield while you wait for your packed schedule to open up, there are a few things you should know. Below, we answer some of our FAQs about driving with damaged auto glass to help you stay safe on the road.  


1. Is Driving With a Damaged Windshield Dangerous?

Absolutely. Though you may not realize it, a cracked windshield could compromise your safety and the safety of anyone else in your vehicle. Because your vehicle’s windshield functions as a stop mechanism for your front airbags, it must be fully intact to withstand the pressure of the airbags’ deployment.


If your airbags inflate while you’re driving with a damaged windshield, there’s a high probability they won’t deploy according to their design. Rather than inflating toward you and your passengers for your protection, your airbags may partially deploy outward, through the windshield. This unfortunate occurrence can happen as a result of the sudden, intense pressure of the bags’ inflation, which can force cracked windshield glass to break completely.


2. Is Operating a Vehicle With Windshield Damage Illegal?

Driving a vehicle with a cracked windshield isn’t always illegal; laws vary from state to state. In Minnesota, driving with a damaged windshield isn’t necessarily against the law; the legality of the situation depends on the extent of the glass damage.


Though the law does not specify what size cracks and chips must be to qualify as illegal, if the glass damage impedes your vision while driving, there’s a high probability you’ll get a ticket. If an officer pulls you over, either for speeding or because your windshield is cracked, it’s up to that officer’s discretion whether or not they issue you a citation.


To avoid an unnecessary expense, it’s always best to schedule repairs or a full windshield replacement as quickly as possible after the glass damage occurs. 


3. Can a Cracked Windshield Shatter?

The glass in your vehicle’s windshield is specifically designed so that it won’t shatter under impact, but that doesn’t mean you should drive with cracked or otherwise damaged auto glass. Though your windshield may not shatter all over you in the event of a collision or heavy impact to the glass, a cracked windshield can compromise your safety nonetheless.


Damaged glass is vulnerable glass, which makes you, the driver, vulnerable too. If you’re driving with a cracked windshield, for your own safety, contact an auto glass repair shop to schedule repairs at your earliest convenience.


4. What Happens If I Continue Driving With Damaged Auto Glass?

In most instances, auto glass damage grows worse when it’s not promptly repaired. If your windshield only contains minor chips or cracks, you’ll want to have them taken care of as quickly as possible to avoid the additional expense of a full windshield replacement.


Windshield repairs take only minutes to complete and, if you can’t make it into a shop, most repair companies offer mobile auto glass repair services to make the process super convenient. Plus, the difference in cost between minor glass repairs and complete auto glass replacement is typically hundreds of dollars. Which do you prefer?


Centennial Auto Glass: Your Twin Cities Source for Auto Glass Repair and Replacement

If you’re driving around with damaged auto glass, your safety is in danger, so schedule an appointment today with our team at Centennial Auto Glass. Our technicians can assess the extent of your glass damage and advise you on your repair and replacement options. For over 25 years, we’ve proudly served the auto glass needs of Twin Cities vehicle owners, and we’re here to serve you too.


To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, call our Blaine, MN office at 651-653-1777 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.