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Is It Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windshield in Alberta?

driving with a cracked windshield in Alberta

It’s almost impossible to avoid windshield cracks in Alberta. During winter, small gravel pebbles coated with de-icing salt and sand, called “pickle,” are used on the roads. This debris can easily kick up and chip your windshield. If your windshield has been damaged by errant rocks, you may be wondering if it’s still legal to drive. Here’s what you need to know.

Provincial Rules and Regulations

Although there’s no official law stating that driving with a damaged windshield is illegal, it is against the law to drive a vehicle that doesn’t provide a clear view of the road. Therefore, if you get caught driving with a cracked or damaged windshield that’s obstructing your view, Alberta law enforcement could issue you a fine, a notice or an order to repair.

Road Test Regulations

Did you know having a cracked windshield can also get you turned away on the day of your road test? Your windshield must meet all legal requirements in Alberta. Your vehicle could be turned away if:

  • The windshield has cracks or blemishes that significantly obstruct the driver’s or examiner’s view

  • The windshield is pitted, discoloured or dirty to the extent the driver’s visibility is affected from inside and/or outside

The Importance of Windshield Replacement or Repair

Whether you’ve got a spreading crack or a tiny rock chip, a windshield repair service should be your next call. Here are three good reasons to have your windshield serviced by a professional as soon as the damage occurs:

  • Protect you in an accident. Your windshield serves as a barrier and protects you in the event of an accident. For instance, it allows the airbags to deploy in the correct position. If you get into a collision, a damaged windshield could shatter on impact and fail to provide adequate protection.

  • Save money. Getting your windshield repaired as soon as it’s damaged can save you money. That’s because small cracks and chips worsen over time. Eventually, the damage could become so severe that you need to replace the entire windshield. This is far more expensive than repairing minor chip damage when it first occurs.

  • Maintain your vehicle’s integrity. Your windshield is vital to your vehicle’s structural integrity. It helps support the roof and prevent it from collapsing in the event of a rollover accident. Driving with a damaged windshield can make your car less safe to drive and increase your risk of injury in a collision.

Auto Glass Repair and Replacement Experts in Alberta

If you need your windshield repaired or replaced, look no further than All-West Glass. All our locations have either I-CAR® (Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) or government-certified technicians that can get the job done right. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services at our locations in Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Peace River.


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