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Is it Illegal to Drive With a Cracked Windshield in Canada?

by | Apr 28, 2022 | Windshields

In Canada, the law surrounding cracked windshields can be a little confusing. Depending on which province you are in, the rules may be different. In this blog post, we will discuss the laws surrounding cracked windshields in each of Canada’s provinces. We will also answer the question: is it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in Canada?

What are the penalties for driving with a cracked windshield in Canada?

Woman got ticket from the policeman
Young woman reading a ticket, policeman in background

In Canada, windshields must be in “good condition.” This means that they cannot have any cracks or breaks. If a police officer pulls you over and sees that your windshield is cracked, they may give you a ticket. The fines for driving with a cracked windshield vary from province to province. In Ontario, for example, the penalty is $110.

However, in some provinces, like Alberta, no specific law prohibits driving with a cracked windshield. This means that you will not be automatically fined if you are pulled over with a cracked windshield. However, the police officer may still give you a ticket for “unsafe driving.” The fine for this offence varies from province to province, but it is typically around $100.

So, is it illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in Canada? The answer is that it depends on the province you are in. In some provinces, there is no specific law against it, while in others, you may be fined if you are caught driving with a cracked windshield.

Let’s break down how much can it cost you to drive with a damaged windshield in different provinces:

British Columbia

According to by official British Columbia government site, fine for a windshield that impairs driver’s vision is $70.

Alberta

There is no specific fine for driving with a cracked windshield in Alberta

Saskatchewan

Fine for driving around with a damaged windshield is 115$. There is a handy illustration about windshield damage pass and fail conditions.

Manitoba

It will cost you 113$ to drive with a cracked windshield in Manitoba.

Ontario

As mentioned earlier, the fine for driving with a damaged windshield in Ontario is 110$.

Quebec

According to SAAQ (Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec) windshield must not have any damage that would obstruct driver’s view and the fine for driving with a cracked windshield is 200$.

New Brunswick

Driving with windshield damage will cost you 85$ in New Brunswick.

Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has some of the highest fines in Canada for driving with an obstructed view. In fact, you could be fined up $176!

Newfoundland and Labrador

Fine for driving with windshield damage in Newfoundland is 100$.

Prince Edward Island

Driving with windshield damage will cost you 75$ on Prince Edward Island.

Should you drive with a cracked windshield if it’s not too severe and doesn’t obstruct your view while driving?

This is a difficult question to answer. On the one hand, it is illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in Canada. This means that if you are pulled over, you may be fined. On the other hand, if the crack is not severe and does not obstruct your view, you may be able to get away with it. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. If you decide to drive with a cracked windshield, be sure to drive carefully and be on the lookout for police officers.

If you have a crack in your windshield, it is best to get it fixed as soon as possible. Driving with a cracked windshield is dangerous, and it is only a matter of time before the crack gets worse. Windshield replacement can be expensive, but it is worth ensuring your safety and avoiding getting a fine.

What to do if you get in an accident with a cracked windshield

Interior view of a smashed car's windshield after the accident
Interior view of a smashed car’s windshield after the accident

If you are in an accident with a cracked windshield, the first thing you should do is pull over to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights and call the police. Once the police arrive, they will assess the situation and file a report. If your windshield is severely damaged, you will need to have it replaced. You can either call a tow truck to take your car to a windshield replacement shop or drive it there yourself. Be sure to get an estimate from the shop before having the work done.

Accidents are never fun, but they can be especially stressful if you have a cracked windshield. Just remember to stay calm and follow the steps above.

Is it more expensive to fix a cracked windshield than to replace it altogether?

The cost of windshield replacement can vary depending on the make and model of your car. Still, it is generally more expensive to replace a windshield than to repair a small crack. However, if the crack is large or in a difficult-to-reach spot, repairs may not be possible, and replacement will be necessary. In addition, if you have a windshield with special features like rain-sensing wipers or lane departure warning, replacement may be the only option. Ultimately, the best way to determine whether repair or replacement is more expensive is to get an estimate from a windshield repair shop.

How cold weather can make the problem worse

Man removes snow form car's windshield
Young man brushing the snow off his car’s windshield on a cold winter day in snowfall

Cold weather can make the problem of a cracked windshield worse for a few reasons. First, cold temperatures cause the glass to contract, making existing cracks worse. Second, ice and snow can accumulate on the windshield, making it more difficult to see through. Finally, cold weather can make it more challenging to repair a windshield, as the adhesive may not bond as well in the cold.

In the United States, it is legal to drive with a cracked windshield as long as the crack does not obstruct the driver’s view. However, in other countries around the world, the laws vary. For example, in some Canadian provinces, it is illegal to drive with a windshield that is cracked or broken in any way. If you are caught driving with a damaged windshield, you could be subject to a fine.

In Europe, the laws regarding windshield damage vary from country to country. In France, for example, it is legal to drive with a windshield that has a small crack, but if it is larger than three inches, you may be fined. On the other hand in Germany it is illegal to drive with any damages in your windshield.

As you can see, the laws regarding cracked windshields vary from country to country. If you are planning on driving in another country, be sure to research the local laws before hitting the road.

How to know if your windshield crack is covered by your insurance policy

Insurance, Are You Covered on desert road
Insurance, Are You Covered on desert road

Windshield replacement can be expensive, but your insurance policy may cover the cost if you have comprehensive coverage. However, it is important to check with your insurance provider to see if they will cover the windshield replacement cost before you file a claim. Some insurance companies have a deductible for windshield replacement, which means you will have to pay a certain amount out of pocket before your insurance will cover the rest. Other insurance companies may only cover windshield replacement if the damage was caused by an act of nature, like a hail storm, or if you have comprehensive coverage.

If you need to have your windshield replaced, the best way to know if your insurance policy will cover the cost is to call your insurance provider and ask. Once you know what your policy covers, you can make an informed decision about whether to file a claim.

It is not illegal to drive with a cracked windshield in all provinces of Canada. However, it is unlawful to drive without a clear view through your windshield in most provinces. -There are exceptions to this rule: if you live in Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan or Quebec and have a crack smaller than 30 cm² on your front window, you are allowed to drive as long as it doesn’t impair your vision.

If you get pulled over for having a cracked or broken windshield, the police officer may give you a ticket and may ask you to have the windshield repaired or replaced. Depending on the severity of the crack, they may also impound your vehicle until the windshield is fixed.

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1 Comment

  1. SOSICH

    It ‘s a great job ! Keep up the good work !

    Reply

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