A windshield, without a doubt, is a fundamental safety unit for your car. Can you drive without a windshield?
Almost 1.3 million people per year die due to road accidents, and the research shows very few of them are related to windshields.
Being your well-wisher, I will tell you THE TRUTH about the inclusion or exclusion of a windshield in your car.
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Can You Drive Without a Windshield?
Of course, You CAN drive. But I think your real concern must be that, SHOULD you drive without a windshield?
I commend you.
You should not drive without a windshield. Undoubtedly, the windshield plays a structural role in keeping you and your companions safe and sound. You should really consider using a windshield in your car plus keep your windshield in a sterling condition to avoid any sudden mishap.
Is it Legal to Drive Without a Windshield?
Legality directly relates to the country or state you are living in. You have to check, is it legal in your country or not to drive a vehicle without a windshield.
In some countries, like Luxembourg or states like California, it is illegal to drive without proper functioning windshield wipers. However, the law does not particularly mention having a windshield, it is obvious to use since it is a part of safety standards of driving, just as the windshield wipers.
Even if no specific regulation points out the clear-cut usage of windshields, still an officer can cite you for having no windshield on the basis of some safety statutes. The citation would also apply in case of a damaged or cracked windshield, as it can cause vision issues to the driver and ultimately endangers driver or companion safety.
As far as MOT is concerned, it will only be passed by a car which is designed to be driven without a windshield. Some automakers design their vehicles that either do not come with a windshield or can be folded down like vintage cars, jeeps, and racing cars.
Such cars might escape citations, but the car without a windshield is shaped like a scoop. That not only causes disruption in driving but is also likely to escalate your fuel consumption since it no longer remains remotely aerodynamic.
How Dangerous is Driving Without a Windshield?
A car without a windshield is definitely subjected to various liabilities. For instance, it can compromise your vision, cause bruises on your skin, disturb driving due to high air pressure, can’t block the harmful ultraviolet radiations, can’t safeguard occupants by stopping ejection at the time of the collision, and it will likely cause an improper deployment of the airbags in the event of an accident.
Windshields, for sure, serve as a ‘shield’ against the elements you encounter during a ride, like dust, debris, snow, rain, stones, or bugs. Imagine if you catch a bug in your eyes at highway speed, clearly, it would likely potentiate your chances of an accident. This unpleasant happening will distract you from driving and will put you and your loved ones in real danger.
This front glass is more than just a fancy piece in your car. It provides structural strength to the roof as well as to the back window. At highways, whilst driving 60-70 mph with no windshield, the air pressure would likely collapse your roof or blow the back window out. Your car is no longer aerodynamic and very much liable to leave the track or turnover.
Clear days might have an advantage but if it’s night, or it’s chilly, or it’s rainy, or it’s windy, you will definitely find yourself in extreme need of a windshield.
How to Drive Safely Without a Windshield?
If you own a car without a windshield or one with the folded-down option, then you can drive without a windshield but with few PRECAUTIONS to safeguard yourself from a multitude of things you encounter during the ride.
- Using eye protection equipment (preferably goggles) to counter the effect of wind or bugs.
- Using face protection equipment (most likely a helmet) to save your face from bruises or projectile collisions.
- Fastening your seatbelt to lessen injuries if you get caught in a rollover or in case of a collision
If you are driving at slow or normal speed, then these precautions are enough to safeguard you and your passengers from any likely damage. But, at very high speed, driving a car without a windshield is quite dangerous and risky. Life is too short and kinda precious as given once only. So, you should try not to put yourself and your family into a life-threatening situation just for the sake of amusement.
Just prefer to drive a car with an intact windshield. Some unfortunate incidences and potential elements can destruct your windshield. Don’t overlook minor damage, you should act proactively and get it repaired without any delay.
How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Damaged Windshield?
The cost to repair a windshield typically depends upon the following factors:
- Make, year, and model of your car (Collectibles, sedans, or luxuries)
- Brand of your vehicle (Volkswagen, Tesla, GM, or Honda, etc.)
- Size of damage (short or long)
- Type of damage (chip or crack)
- Location of damage (Zone A, B, C, or D)
- Type of glass (Laminated, Tempered, or Solar)
Typically, the repair cost may range between $50 to $200. But it all depends on the car you are using. If you want to work on a budget, home adhesive kits or DIY solutions might work but if done incorrectly, it will add to the expense for further repairs.
My piece of advice is that you should always opt for professional help. A trained windshield expert with specialized knowledge will deal better with this task than you.
Keep in mind, repairs can be done to an extent only, some cases do require windshield replacement. Replacement of inexpensive cars usually costs between $100-$400. But when comes to luxury vehicles like Mercedes-Benz or Jaguar, the cost jumps to as high as $1500 or more.