Cracked windshields, obstructed windshields, windshield replacement and other laws and regulations are different for every state. Cracked windshield laws in California prohibit driving vehicles where driver’s view of the road is obstructed.
Can I drive with a cracked windshield in California?
California laws prohibit drivers from operating vehicles with obstructed view of the road. There are no further details about the size of windshield cracks or chips, therefore it is up to police officers to determine if your view is impaired.
Other laws and regulations:
- Obstructed windshield regulations: No sign, poster, or other non-transparent material that obstructs visibility is permitted unless in a 7-inch square on bottom passenger side, or 5-inch square in bottom corner on driver side of the windscreen. It is unlawful to operate a vehicle when windshield or rear window is in a defective condition and impairing driver’s front or rear view of the road.
- Replacement windshields: Replacement windshield glass must be of the same kind and quality, and any repairs should restore vehicle to its original state.
- Windshield wipers: Vehicles must be equipped with windshield wipers in good working conditions. Cracks which prevent wipers from operating correctly may be illegal.
California drivers who receive a cracked windshield ticket must fix the cracks within 48 hours and provide proof.
Federal cracked windshield regulations
Federal regulations require drivers to have a clear vision of the road. Windshield cracks or chips smaller than ¾-inch in diameter are permitted if they are not located within 3″ of another crack.
Any cracks or chips or other damage which can potentially obstruct clear view of the road must not be within critical vision area, defined as area directly above the steering wheel, two inches from the top and one inch from sides.