Have you ever had a crack in your windshield? Are you wondering if you need to replace it?

Gene, from Orlando, writes in this week:

I have a decent-sized crack in my windshield and am wondering if it is against the law to keep my car like this? Or, do I need to have it replaced?

Motorists can get pulled over for a cracked windshield because it is a primary offense. The language in Florida's law makes it illegal, citing your vehicle as unsafe for driving.

However, it all depends on just how big the crack or chip is in the windshield.

"You want to repair the crack regardless up to 6 inches," said Brian Searle, quality manager at Safelight Autoglass in Orlando. "Anything over 6 inches, you do a replacement on it."

Here is a quick test you can perform to determine whether you need to get your windshield repaired or replaced:

  • Is the damaged area in your line of sight?
  • Will a $1 bill cover up the damage?
  • Is the damage on the edge of the windshield?
  • Are there more than three chips on your windshield?

If you do find your windshield with a chip or crack and your insurance policy has comprehensive coverage, you are in luck.

Florida law requires insurers in Florida to replace or repair their policy holder’s damaged windshield for free with no deductible.