Is It Illegal to Drive with a Broken Window?

An accident, a stray baseball, a break-in: there are a number of reasons why you might have a broken windshield or window. But what happens if you don’t get it fixed right away? Is driving with a broken window illegal?

Let’s take a look at Kentucky law regarding motor vehicle safety and find out what you need to do to stay road legal.

Kentucky Law & Car Equipment

Kentucky law has a lot to say about motor vehicle safety. In addition to the many laws governing how a vehicle is driven, there are a number of laws that govern the vehicles themselves.

For example, Kentucky law states, “Equipment of vehicle not to be nuisance or menace. Every vehicle when on a highway shall be so equipped as to make a minimum of noise, smoke or other nuisance, to protect the rights of other traffic, and to promote the public safety.”

This law is designed to ensure that the vehicle isn’t a danger to the occupants or the other drivers on the road.

In order to drive legally (and safely) on the road, you’re required to have working steering, brakes, headlamps and brake lights; a horn that can be heard 200 feet away; and a left outside and center/right inside mirror.

When it comes to your windshield, Kentucky law requires several things:

  • Your windshield and windows must be made of safety glass. (Safety glass is tougher and not as sharp as the glass that makes up your home’s windows. This means that, in a crash, you won’t have jagged shards of glass flying toward you.)
  • Your windshield wipers must be in good working condition. (Windshield wipers are obviously important to maintaining your visibility in bad weather.)
  • Your windshield and windows must have good visibility. This means they can’t be made of, covered by, or treated with any material or product that makes the window non-transparent or a different color, reduces the light transmittance through the window, or increases the reflectivity of the window. This includes window tints and sunscreening material. (There are very narrow exceptions for some tints and sunscreening material, but they have to meet certain standards.)

In short, you can’t drive with a broken window—whether it’s missing or you’ve taped a garbage bag to the window frame as a stopgap. You risk getting a ticket if you drive around with a broken window for very long. (This is true not only in Kentucky but also in Ohio and other surrounding states.)

Get Your Window or Windshield Repaired ASAP

It can be just as expensive to pay the cost of a ticket as it is to get your windshield or window repaired. And—more importantly—you risk your health and safety when you drive in a vehicle with a broken window or windshield. This means there’s no good reason not to get yours repaired as soon as possible. In fact, you might not have to pay anything at all! (Under Kentucky law, if you have full or comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your insurance will waive your deductible on your windshield repair/replacement.)

Here at Jack’s Glass, we offer fast, convenient repairs and replacement that won’t break the bank. Our technicians have the knowledge and training to get the job done right, and they’ll even come to your car with our on-site mobile glass service. If you’re curious about the potential cost, you can even get a quote online!

If you have questions or would like to schedule a repair or replacement, call Jack’s today! We’re here to help you.