In some states, it’s illegal to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield — but not here. A small crack in your windshield doesn’t impair your ability to see the road, either. It’s really just a cosmetic issue, and hey, looks aren’t everything. So why bother to fix that harmless little crack?

1. Structural Integrity

Believe it or not, that glass windshield is designed to do a lot more than just give you a view to the outside. It’s part of your vehicle’s skeleton, and that’s important.

In a front-end collision the windshield helps to distribute impact down into the chassis and away from the interior. It protects passengers by lessening the force of a collision inside. The windshield also supports the vertical structure of your vehicle. In a rollover accident, the windshield props up the roof of your car and prevents it from being crushed.

When a windshield is already cracked, it’s likely to shatter in a collision. This allows the impact to move directly through the front of the car and increases the likelihood that you and your passengers will be injured. Additionally, a cracked windshield can’t bear the weight of a vehicle’s roof during a rollover — the roof is far more likely to cave in, resulting in severe injuries to those inside.

2. Safety Systems

A vehicle’s windshield also provides a kind of backup for the main safety systems in your vehicle — the seatbelts and airbags. If your seatbelts happen to fail, a solid windshield keeps you inside the car. But if that windshield has already sustained a crack, it will shatter on impact, allowing unbelted passengers to be ejected during an accident.

In order for an airbag to work correctly, there has to be a stable windshield behind it — especially on the passenger side of your vehicle. A deployed airbag expands and presses back onto the windshield before it can provide support to a passenger. Once again, a cracked windshield may shatter under the force of the airbag and keep it from doing its job.

3. Common Sense

We certainly don’t expect you to be involved in a major collision — nor would we wish that on you! But despite all of your best efforts, safe driving, and even a lot of good luck, eventually that little crack is going to expand. The composition of high-density windshield glass combined with rough roads or changes in temperature make this a guarantee.

When a crack is small, it’s easy and inexpensive to repair. If it’s allowed to expand into the windshield, though, you’re looking at replacing the whole thing. It’s simply common sense to make a small repair quickly instead of waiting until it’s a big problem, a bigger job, and a bigger expense.

There’s no reason to take risks — a repair is quick and doesn’t cost a lot. When even a tiny crack has such a huge impact on the safety of you and your passengers, it’s a no-brainer. Be smart, be safe, and save money at the same time by getting that little crack fixed today!