Cracked windshield laws

Texas Cracked Windshield Laws

Texas traffic laws allow driving with a damaged windshield under certain circumstances. Different states have different laws regarding cracked windshields. A damaged windshield on your car can lead to all kinds of hazardous situations.

This is why a proper understanding and clarification of Texas law regarding cracked windows is necessary, and summarized below!

Is driving with a cracked windshield legal in Texas?

Texas laws do not mention cracked or damaged windshields. During vehicle inspections your car will pass inspection even with a cracked windshield.

However, windshield wipers are a part of your vehicle inspection. Any cracks which may cause the glass to change shape by becoming convex or concave can result in a failed inspection.

Furthermore, Texas does have laws against obstructed views. You are not permitted to apply stickers, advertisements, or other objects which may prevent clear view of the road. In case the windshield crack is in your line of sight it can be considered distracting and you can receive a fine.

Lack of proper rules and regulations means it’s usually up to each police officer’s discretion whether you’ll be issued a citation or not. It is likely you will have to pay a fine and replace or repair your windshield or other cracked windows unless the crack is in corner and preferably on passengers side.

Vehicle inspection:

According to Texas Department of Public Safety, Items of Inspection FAQ, your car will not pass inspection if:

The windshield is NOT an item of inspection. However, the windshield wipers are. Be sure that the crack does not cause the wipers to tear and that the crack has not caused the windshield to become concave or convex so the wipers loose contact with the windshield.

Inspection guidelines above are only guidelines. While your car may pass inspection, police can still ticket you in case they determine your vision of the road is impaired.

Windshield repair or replace?

Should you repair or replace your windshield? Depending on the extent of the damage on your car’s windshield you may be able to repair it, or otherwise completely replace it.

You can typically repair your windshield if the crack on your windshield is less than 3″ in length, or if you have a small chip which is smaller than the size of a quarter. Repairing a windshield is cheaper than replacing it. In fact, your insurance company may even cover your repair bill if you have road hazard coverage, although you should consult with them first to see if they do.

If your windshield is cracked directly in front of the driver’s line of sight some shops may decline repairing it. Even after repairs it can obstruct your vision and cause safety concerns. If your windshield is too damaged you may have to replace it completely.

The cost of a windshield replacement in Texas can vary depending on several factors such as the make and model of your vehicle, the type of glass needed, and the location of the repair shop. On average, the cost of a windshield replacement in Texas can range from $100 to $400. However, it is recommended that you get a quote from a local repair shop to get a more accurate estimate for your specific situation.

Cracked windshield safety concerns

Do note that impaired vision is not the only reason why you should repair or replace your broken or damaged car windshield. An undamaged windshield is stronger and in case of accidents can prevent further injuries:

  1. Windshield strength is designed to keep your roof from crushing more than 5″ in a rollover wreck
  2. Proper windshield will keep at least 50% of the glass sealed to the car which may be enough to prevent occupants from being ejected during a collision

Small windshield cracks may not impair your visibility. They may not even result in a traffic ticket if stopped by police. But, it’s rarely advisable driving with a cracked windshield in Texas since it can be dangerous and potentially against the law.

This article about Texas Cracked Windshield Laws was last updated in 2024. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!