Can a Cracked Windshield Break While Driving

It is not wise to drive with a cracked windshield especially when the crack is obvious. It can be dangerous and illegal. Therefore, what happens when you drive with a cracked windshield? Can a cracked windshield break while driving?

Yes, a cracked windshield can break while driving if the crack is significant and has compromised the structural integrity of the glass. A sudden impact while driving can cause the windshield to break because it is already weakened by the crack.

Can a Cracked Windshield Break While Driving?

Yes, driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous because it can break while driving if the crack is significant. A cracked windshield can also break while driving if the crack compromises the structural integrity of the glass.

Therefore, avoid driving with a cracked windshield if the crack is too deep. You don’t want your windscreen to break while the car is in motion. The danger is too much to comprehend.

What Causes Cracked Windshield to Break While Driving

Several factors can contribute to a cracked windshield breaking while driving; these factors are:

1. Impact From the Road

If a small crack or chip is already present on the windshield, it can further weaken the windshield’s structure causing it to break when it gets in touch with a sudden impact such as a rock, debris, or even a minor collision, while driving.

2. Vibrations from a Bad Road

When you drive, your vehicle is subjected to various vibrations from the road. These vibrations can put additional stress on a cracked windshield, causing the crack to grow and eventually break while driving.

3. Temperature Changes

Sudden changes in temperature can cause the glass to expand and contract. If there’s already a crack, it can exacerbate the situation, as the crack may expand due to the stress created by temperature fluctuations and breaks while driving.

4. Structural Stress While Driving

The structural integrity of your car plays a role in why the windshield breaks while driving. If the frame or body of the car is not stable, it can put more stress on the windshield, making it more susceptible to breaking while you drive.

5. Collision

If a small crack already exists and the vehicle is involved in another impact, even a minor collision can cause the crack to spread or the windshield to shatter.

This is why you should avoid being in a collision if you have a cracked windshield to avoid having it break on you while driving.

6. Age and Wear

A windshield can break while driving if it already has a crack and is old. The old age will make it prone to breaking, causing it to easily break while driving.

7. Poor Installation

If you have had your windshield replaced in the past, it can break while driving with a crack on it if the installation is not properly done. In other words, if there are issues with the sealant, it may be more prone to cracking or shattering while driving.

If you still have the factory-fitted car and the sealant is not in its best place to seal and hold the glass in its place, there are high chance that the cracked windshield will break while driving.

8. Large or Deep Cracks

If the crack on the windshield is large or deep, it is more likely to spread and cause the windshield to break while you drive, as it compromises the structural integrity of the glass to a greater extent.

What to Do When Your Windshield Breaks While Driving

If your windshield breaks while driving, you should:

  • Stay Calm: The first thing to do when your windshield breaks while driving is to remain calm. A broken windshield can be startling, but it’s important to stay composed to safely handle the situation.
  • Maintain Control of Your Vehicle: Ensure that you maintain control of your vehicle. Keep your hands on the steering wheel and avoid sudden, erratic movements.
  • Pull Over Safely: If it is safe to do so, signal and carefully pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot. Ensure that you choose a safe location away from traffic.
  • Access and Examine the Damage: Examine the extent of the damage to your windshield. If the windshield is severely compromised, it may be best to avoid further driving until it is repaired or replaced.
  • Check for Injuries: Make sure you and your passengers are not injured by any glass fragments. If anyone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately.
  • Secure Loose Glass: If there is loose glass inside the vehicle, use caution when trying to secure or remove it. You can use a cloth or other available materials to cover the broken area to prevent glass from entering the vehicle.
  • Contact Assistance: If the windshield is severely damaged and driving is unsafe, call for a tow truck to transport your vehicle to a repair shop where the windshield will be accessed and replaced.
  • Document the Incident: Take photos of the damage, if it’s safe to do so as they may be helpful for insurance claims.
  • Notify Your Insurance: Contact your auto insurance company to report the incident and discuss your coverage for windshield repair or replacement.

However, if the damage is extensive, avoid driving the car until it has been repaired or replaced. A severely compromised windshield can affect your safety, visibility, and the structural integrity of your vehicle.


A cracked windshield can break while driving if the crack is too obvious. Therefore, For safety reasons, it is essential to address windshield cracks immediately. Small cracks can often be repaired, but if the damage is extensive, it is recommended to replace the windshield to ensure the safety of the driver and passengers.