The windshield can be repaired if only the outer layer is damaged or the crack is not close to the outer margin of the glass. You can also have it repaired if the crack is shorter than 12 inches or the chip is smaller than one inch.
Replacement is necessary when it impairs the driver’s visibility or the inner layer of glass has also been broken. Windshield replacement is also recommended when the damage is near the edge of the windshield or longer than 14 inches. Chips or bullseye damage larger than 3 inches requires replacement.
To reiterate the considerations, keep reading.
Safety should be #1 when considering driving with a damaged windshield. Remember that a broken windshield cannot provide protection to driver and passengers, like the roof collapsing.
Can the driver see clearly with the damage? In some states, it is illegal to drive if the crack is in the driver’s line of vision.
It is generally accepted that chips or bullseyes up to one inch can be repaired as well as cracks as long as 12 inches.
Windshields are made of two layers of glass. If the damage penetrates through the inner layer of glass, it can’t be repaired – replacement is necessary. Also, even if the exterior layer is intact, the windshield should be replaced if the interior layer is damaged.
Cracks close to the edge or corner of the glass can worsen and spread quickly, especially if the car goes over bumps or pot holes.
While replacing a windshield will take longer and may be more expensive, it is a sure way to insure safety with the highest level of visibility.