A smashed windshield doesn’t make for a pretty sight. More than an unpleasant appearance, it’s both illegal and unsafe to drive in. Many US states have laws against driving in a vehicle with a cracked windshield, especially if they’re extensive enough to impair the driver’s view.
So what do you do after your windshield gets smashed? Well, it depends. Below are five important questions to ask yourself if you have a broken windshield – and what you can do about them.
5 Things You Need To Do (If You Have A Smashed Windshield)
Q: Which state and city do you live in?
The moment you notice a visible crack on a car’s windshield, your first step is to look into your state and city laws. Laws around a smashed windshield can vary depending on where you live.
For example, there will be states like Wisconsin which allow you to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield. As long as the cracks are located outside the “critical” area (a.k.a. anywhere near windshield wipers), then you can continue to drive in the car. Some cities like Florida have statutes against driving in vehicles that endanger the driver and the public. These include cracked windshields which prevents a clear vision of the road ahead.
Q: What is your car insurance coverage?
Ideally, you should have car insurance. Otherwise, you will have to pay out of pocket for the repair or replacement of your broken windshield. But assuming that you do, your next step is to check how much coverage you’re actually getting.
Your coverage will vary depending on your provider and policy. More often than not, only drivers with comprehensive coverage are allowed to file claims for damaged windshields and car windows.
Q: Do you have any deductibles?
While checking for car insurance, you should also review your policy and see whether or not you have deductibles. Most companies offer zero deductibles. It means they will cover the full cost of windshield repairs or replacement, and you wouldn’t have to pay a single dime.
However, deductibles are optional. Many policyholders opt out for them, or they go for higher deductibles to save on premiums. Either way, you should find out if you have deductibles and for what amount so you can prepare for costs you may need to shoulder.
Q: Which car repair shop provides windshield services in your area?
Next, investigate your local area for car repair companies. Not all of them will offer windshield repair and replacement. Make sure they are reputable and have adequate licensing and certification to provide these services. Choose from auto repair shops that use high-quality OEM safety glass.
Q: What are your options?
Now that you have a list of auto glass repair shops, get in touch with them. Ask about payment options because some might be willing to waive your deductibles, thus reducing the total cost. Others offer extended payment plans, which can be useful if you have high deductibles or have to pay out of pocket. If you need mobile services (i.e. carpool, rental vehicle), it also pays to know your options ahead of time.