Can I get a ticket for a cracked windshield in Washington?

Are you driving in Spokane, Washington with a cracked windshield? We all know the scenario. You were driving down Interstate 90 on your way to work and another vehicle’s tire kicked up a rock. That rock flew into your windshield and cracked it. Now, you’re faced with a dilemma. The car is still drivable. You can see out of the windshield, so do you really have to fix it? The short answer is yes. You could get a ticket if you drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield in Washington state.

Washington State’s Laws on Windshields

According to the Revised Code of Washington, Title 46, Chapter 46.37, Section 400, drivers in Washington state who have vehicles equipped with windshields must keep them unobstructed. The law goes on to further explain that any and all motor vehicles that are driven on the state’s highways must be equipped with a front windshield. That windshield must be manufactured with the appropriate safety glazing materials. If the vehicle is not designed with a windshield, such as the case with motorcycles and mopeds, the operator must wear face protection that meets the requirements of RCW 46.37.530.

Windshields in Washington Must Be Unobstructed

A crack in a windshield can be considered an obstruction, and if you’ve ever left a crack in your windshield for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that it starts small, perhaps even as a chip in the glass. As you operate your vehicle, that crack slowly gets bigger.

What Does Federal Law Say About Windshield Cracks?

Federal law states that any cracks in a windshield must not obstruct the driver’s view of the road, and that they cannot have a diameter of more than 3/4 of an inch. Federal law goes on to further stipulate that vehicles cannot have two or more cracks that are closer than three inches.

Can Washington State Forbid Me from Driving if I Have a Cracked Windshield?

There are no laws in Washington state that make it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield. This means that if the crack is not obstructing the driver’s view of the road, you can still drive the vehicle while you’re searching for a company to fix the crack.

Does My Car Insurance Pay for Windshield Cracks?

Your car insurance may pay for windshield cracks. However, the type of car insurance used may be dependent on how your windshield was cracked. For example, if you were driving down the road and a rock flew into your windshield, this damage would likely be covered by your comprehensive insurance. However, if your car is parked and someone throws a rock at it or an object falls onto the glass, it may be covered by the comprehensive portion of your car insurance coverage.

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance typically covers damage to your vehicle that didn’t occur while you were driving it. This typically includes certain types of weather damage, the theft of your vehicle and vandalism. Damaged glass can sometimes fall under one of these categories.

Collision Car Insurance

When you purchase car insurance, you’ll be given the option to add additional coverages to your liability policy. One of those additional coverages is collision insurance. Collision insurance helps pay for the repairs to your car if you were to be involved in an accident. This insurance can be used when you are at fault in the accident.

Zero Deductible Glass

In addition to your collision insurance, you can also add zero deductible glass, which is sometimes referred to as full glass coverage. This is a great option because most comprehensive  insurance coverage comes with a deductible. If you were to use your comprehensive insurance to pay for your new glass, your insurance company would write a check for the amount of the repair minus your deductible. Zero deductible glass helps pay for your windshield repair or replacement without requiring a deductible.

Getting Car Insurance that Covers Glass in Spokane, Washington from Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc.

Throughout the US, windshield damage accounts for about 30 percent of all vehicle insurance claims, and according to AAA, damage to a vehicle’s glass is the number one car insurance claim in the state of Washington. The good news is that you can get car insurance that covers broken glass from our insurance brokers at Boyd Insurance Brokerage Inc. We have access to car insurance policies from multiple insurance companies, and because we’re independent, we’ll put you first. Just let us know the types of auto insurance coverages you need and the types of risks you’d like covered, and we’ll locate policies that best match your needs.

To learn more about the types of car insurance coverages we offer, give us a call at 509-340-2693.



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