Cracked windshields, impaired view, windshield replacements, and other rules and regulations are different in 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 do not allow driving a vehicle with obstructed view of the road. There are no further details about the size of windshield cracks or chips. This means 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 done to glass 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 will be required to fix the cracks within 48 hours, and provide proof of repairs.
Federal cracked windshield regulations
Federal laws require drivers to always have a clear vision of the road. Cracks, chips, or other windshield damage can potentially obstruct clear view of the road.
This is why federal laws require this damage to be outside of driver’s critical vision area. This is defined as area directly above the steering wheel, two inches from the top and one inch from sides.
Windshield cracks or chips smaller than ¾-inch in diameter are allowed, however they must be located at least 3 inches away from another crack.