New York cracked windshield laws

New York Cracked Windshield Laws

Cracked windshield laws are different in each state. A damaged windshield on vehicle can make it unsafe to drive, which is why New York traffic laws do not permit driving with a damaged windshield which may impair visibility.

Let’s take a look at all relevant NY state laws regarding cracked or broken windshields.

Is driving with a cracked windshield legal in New York?

The following excerpt is from New York Vehicle & Traffic (VAT) laws:

22. It shall be unlawful to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways of this state which is equipped with any glass which is so broken, fractured or discolored as to distort visibility.

Law source: New York Laws, VAT – Vehicle & Traffic, Title 3: Equipment, Article 9: Equipment of Motor Vehicles, Section 375 – Equipment.

Unfortunately New York cracked windshield law is not very detailed and does not specifically regulate what constitutes “distorted visibility”.

Broad language essentially means it’s up to each police officer’s discretion whether you’ll be issued a citation or not. In many cases you will have to pay a fine and replace or repair your windshield or other cracked windows.

Vehicle inspection:

According to the Commissioner’s Regulations (source) covering vehicle inspections, your car will not pass inspection if:

  • Any window is broken or has exposed sharp or jagged edges.
  • Your windshield has a crack more than eleven inches long, with any part of the crack in the windshield wiper path.
  • Window has a “star” crack which is more than three inches in diameter.

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.


Should you repair or replace your windshield?

Depending on the extent of the damage you may be able to repair your windshield. If not, you will have to completely replace it.

Windshields can typically be repaired if the crack is less than 3″ in length, or if you have a small chip which is smaller than the size of a quarter.

The cost of windshield repair in New York can vary depending on the type of repair that is needed, the make and model of your vehicle, and the location of the repair shop. On average, the cost for a basic windshield repair can range from $50 to $100, while more extensive repairs or replacements can cost upwards of $300 or more. It’s always best to get multiple quotes from different repair shops in your area to compare prices and ensure you’re getting a fair and reasonable cost for the service.

Some shops may decline repairing a windshield if the crack is directly in front of the driver’s line of sight. This is because even then it can obstruct your vision and cause safety concerns. If your windshield is too damaged you may have to replace it.

Windshield replacement cost in New York depends on the make and model of your vehicle, the type of glass used, and the location of the repair shop. On average, the cost for a basic windshield replacement can range from $200 to $400, but it can go up to $1000 or more for luxury cars.

If your vehicle insurance has road hazard coverage or comprehensive coverage your insurance company may even cover your windshield repair or replacement. It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover the cost.

Cracked windshield safety concerns

A cracked windshield can present several safety issues for drivers and passengers. One of the most significant risks is that a cracked windshield can impair the driver’s visibility, making it difficult to see the road and other vehicles, which can lead to accidents.

A cracked windshield can also weaken the structural integrity of the car, making it more susceptible to collapse in the event of a rollover or collision. Additionally, a cracked windshield can make it more challenging for airbags to deploy correctly, which can increase the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.

If you have a cracked windshield, it is important to have it inspected and repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid these potential safety hazards but also avoid traffic tickets.

This article about New York Cracked Windshield Laws was last updated in 2023. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!