Is it Legal to Drive with a Cracked Windscreen?

If there is damage to your windscreen and you do nothing about it, you are immediately putting yourself, your passengers and other road users at potential risk. But is it legal to do so?

The short answer is no. Even if your car glass only has a tiny chip in it, your car could fail its MOT – and driving without an MOT is against the law. That means that if you want to stay legal while behind the wheel, you have to get your damage fixed. This might mean getting something as simple and easy as a chip repair, which usually takes just 30 minutes, or having to have your entire windscreen replaced. For the safety of you and others, though, it must be worth it.

If your windscreen is damaged, the effects could be more significant than you realise. While it might just appear to be a minor cosmetic issue, the fact is that the windscreen is responsible for a lot of your car’s structural strength. Windscreens aren’t just a piece of glass that protects you from wind, grit and stones any more – they are a crucial part of your vehicle’s design that forms an important part of what keeps it strong, structurally. And if you ever happened to get into an accident with a damaged windscreen, the protection given by having a sturdy car body and frame could be instantly diminished. Worse, if the accident is serious and your car ends up flipping over, the damage to the glass could reduce the windscreen’s ability to help protect you from being crushed or ejected from the vehicle.

There are many reasons not to drive with a damaged windscreen and the law is clearly just one of them. However, if you do manage to stay accident-free with a broken windshield, you could still come across trouble if it is discovered that you are on the road illegally. Driving without a valid MOT is an offence and you could be fined, lose privileges and gain points on your licence by doing so.

The benefits of dealing with a cracked windscreen far outweigh the worry of getting involved in an accident or being caught breaking the law. Take care of your car and it will take care of you – so ensure its glass is healthy and continue driving safely.

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