Windshield cracks develop for a variety of reasons, from a flying rock to a vehicular accident. Window cracks can easily spread, and a cracked window doesn't provide the same accident protection as an intact window. If your windshield has a cracked window, you need to get it fixed right away. Until you can get the windshield fixed, you need to determine if it is safe to drive with your damaged windshield in the meantime. There are four factors you should consider to make this determination.
Factor #1: The Size of the Damage
One of the biggest factors you need to consider is the size of the damage. If the crack is really small, such as a crack that is smaller than the size of a penny, then you may be able to get away with driving with the crack for a while. If the crack is a couple of inches long or if the crack is spread out, you are going to need to get auto glass repair right away before the integrity of the window is further compromised. The larger the damage, the more urgent the need to fix the damage before you drive.
Factor #2: The Location of the Damage
The second factor you need to consider is the location of the damage. If the damage is located on the passenger side of the vehicle, the damage can wait a little longer to be fixed, and you can drive with the damage. If the damage is located on the driver's side of the vehicle and the crack gets in the way of the driver's point of vehicle, you shouldn't drive with the damaged windshield. Anything that compromises the ability of the driver to drive safely needs to be taken care of immediately.
Factor #3: The Extent of the Damage
Third, you need to figure out the extent of the damage. Is the crack really shallow? Then the damage can be repaired and patched up. Is the crack really short? Same thing.
If the crack is deep and goes through multiple layers of glass, your windshield will need to be replaced. If the crack is really expansive and spreads out in ripples across the windshield, the windshield will need to be replaced.
If you determine that the damage is so extensive that the windshield will need to be replaced, that also means that you shouldn't be doing more than the minimal driving necessary to get your windshield replaced. When your windshield is that damaged, you shouldn't be going about your regular driving. Remember, you can take your vehicle in to get your windshield fixed, or you can use a mobile windshield repair service to fix the windshield for you.