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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:30 AM

Is it dangerous to drive with a cracked windshield?

I know that auto insurance companies replace windshields for low or no cost because it is cheaper than paying after the windshield pays. But how likely is a cracked windshield to fail?

We went on a short trip this weekend and during the trip the windshield on my 1999 Suburban cracked - weird crack, about 3" horizontal, then a 3-4" vertical crack. I scheduled to have it replaced but they can't do it before next Monday and we're supposed to drive downstate later this week.

Is it safe to take this vehicle or should we take the other one - that I hate traveling in because the seats are so uncomfortable?

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is it dangerous to drive with a cracked windshield? (Original post)
csziggy Jan 2013 OP
hlthe2b Jan 2013 #1
Baitball Blogger Jan 2013 #2
csziggy Jan 2013 #5
Baitball Blogger Jan 2013 #7
csziggy Jan 2013 #10
RebelOne Jan 2013 #17
dr.strangelove Jan 2013 #3
csziggy Jan 2013 #8
dr.strangelove Jan 2013 #11
csziggy Jan 2013 #12
dr.strangelove Jan 2013 #14
Xyzse Jan 2013 #4
backwoodsbob Jan 2013 #6
csziggy Jan 2013 #9
backwoodsbob Jan 2013 #15
Kali Jan 2013 #13
csziggy Jan 2013 #16
Orrex Jan 2013 #18
MissMillie Jan 2013 #19
csziggy Feb 2013 #20

Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:36 AM

1. Someone will come up with the "official" response (which probably is to replace it)...

But anecdotally, after a summer in which I replaced three tires and three windshields--all the result of debris from highway paving on I-25, I finally decided to leave the last crack in the windshield, and did so for nearly six months. It was not in the line of sight, though. I kept receipts for all the other times I'd replaced it in my glovebox, in case a state trooper stopped me, though (as I do think they can cite you).

I never had a problem and it didn't really get any bigger until after some pretty intense freeze-thaw cycles.

So???

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:38 AM

2. If you live in Florida and have FL insurance, the replacement is free.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:42 AM

5. That's not the problem - replacement is scheduled

But they can't do it before we are going on a short trip this week.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:56 AM

7. You are probably okay because you did the due diligence.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:15 PM

10. We've marked the end of the crack

And I will drive the truck around town before we leave for our trip.

The crack traveled several inches after we noticed it yesterday morning, so I am concerned it will keep traveling. If it does, we may take our other vehicle - I am not as comfortable in it, but it does get better gas mileage so I guess that is good if we do have to take it.

Thanks!

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:52 PM

17. Yes, I miss that insurance benefit when I lived in Florida.

Never had to take advantage of it, but I knew it was there if I ever needed it.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:38 AM

3. I drove with a crack that size for years

I always thought that unless it obstructed your driving vision, or unless it was growing, cracks are no big deal. The glass won't break, but the crack will spread if it is stressing the glass. Eventually it will spiderweb in many directions. If that starts to happen, I would not drive it. But like I said, I drove for years with a similar crack and it never started to spiderweb.

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Response to dr.strangelove (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:08 PM

8. I may need to drive the truck as much as possible locally

Before we leave town. This crack showed up spontaneously. I don't think the windshield was hit by anything - the cracked just appeared. From when we first noticed it, the crack traveled three or four more inches by last night.

Add - My husband just checked the crack - it does look as though the windshield was hit by something, just outside the seal. We marked the end and if it keeps traveling, we'll take the other vehicle on our trip later this week!

I had a big chip in a windshield on a previous truck - that one never went anywhere. I think this one traveled a good distance yesterday because it is close to the edge on a curved part and gets more stress that a crack or chip closer to the middle.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:18 PM

11. If it grows, you are making the right call

If it is growing more than a few millimeters before you go, I would take the other vehicle. Mine was stable for years. I could see it growing in the day after the debris hit the windshield, as it will settle. But if its still growing, its not a stable piece of glass. Good luck to you. Sounds like you are making the right decisions.

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Response to dr.strangelove (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:26 PM

12. Yeah, the idea of the windshield blowing out scares me!

But then, as a child I was traumatized by seeing my Dad's car when the windshield was destroyed by a slow moving vulture that hit his windshield. This was fifty years ago in a 1959 Ford made before safety glass was common, but it was terrifying to think what could have happened to my father if the bird had gone completely through the glass at 70 mph! Fortunately, it just cracked the whole thing and left feathers stuck in the cracks.

Dad had to drive two hours home at night with it that way. The Highway Patrolman who pulled him because of the damage over was nice and didn't ticket him for driving it that way, but he did warn Dad it could cave in the rest of the way. I distinctly remember Dad explaining to Mom what he was warned to watch for - that is why cracks worry me so much!

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Response to csziggy (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

14. It won't blow out

But it could become a mass of spider webbed cracks so that seeing through it would be impossible. The glass itself is a marvel of engineering. While a large bird might penetrate it, that crack you describe is not blowing the windshield out. If it stays that small, then may even repair it rather than replace the whole windshield. I have to say, if I saw a bird like you describe hitting my windshield, I would be traumatized too. Wow, that sounds scary. I am glad he made it okay. You sound like a smart person who knows all the risks, I am sure you will be fine whatever presents itself. Good luck again.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:38 AM

4. That has happened to me.

I didn't have time to fix it and it was not line of sight.
I was able to have it like that for about 5-6 months before replacing it.

I paid for it out of pocket because it was CHEAPER for me to go out of pocket than let car insurance handle it.
Car Insurance wanted to charge me 500 for replacement, when I could get it replaced out of pocket for 150.

I don't know how that happened, but that was the case.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:44 AM

6. not dangerous

 

you'll be fine

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:09 PM

9. Thanks, Bob

It's good of you to be helping today with your own stress.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:45 PM

15. thanks

 

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

13. theoretically

but I have driven for years with them. the biggest risk to me is the potential ticket - driving with obstructed view or some such.

as you know (or should) taking vehicular advice from me is risk in itself

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:19 PM

16. Update: The cracked continued to travel with truck parked!

As I said, we marked the end of the crack the other day. I had no reason to move it since and when we went out today and check, the crack had lengthened another half inch.Not a good sign at all.

We're taking the other vehicle on our trip. The glass repair guys are coming Monday to put in the new windshield, so it will be fixed before it leaves the farm again.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 11:45 PM

18. Crack kills.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:00 PM

19. It can wait until next Monday

If you get pulled over before then, tell the officer about your appointment.

The windshield is part of the safety system of your car.

When an airbag deploys it often hits the windshield. If the windshield fails, you may get cut or the airbag may not deploy properly.

Odds are that NONE of this will happen, but if your insurance is going to cover it, why not get it done. You'll also avoid getting a ticket.

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Response to MissMillie (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:10 AM

20. Yes, the new windshield will go in Monday

Meanwhile we drove 300 miles today in my husband's vehicle. While it gets better mileage, I hate traveling in it. There is no room to put anything, the seat gives me a backache, and it's got the seatbelts that tighten as much as possible until your are strangling. On the bright side, he has a good sound system in it.

Sunday we'll drive home and Monday the Safelite guys will show up to replace the windshield. My truck won't move until they are ready to start.

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