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Is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windscreen in Western Australia?

Is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windscreen in Western Australia?

Are you ignoring your chipped or cracked windscreen? Are you delaying the inevitable by not getting it fixed?

You could be putting yourself and your passengers in danger while at the same time also breaking the law.

To avoid an unfortunate accident or hefty legal fine, we share why you should consider fixing that windscreen — and do so today. 

Your Cracked Windscreen Versus The WA Law 

When it comes to the law, the specific road rules and regulations vary depending on your country and state. So, according to Western Australian law, is it illegal to drive with a cracked windscreen?

The short answer is yes. It, of course, depends on the extent of the damage, but if the crack or chip in your windscreen is affecting the driver’s vision of the road ahead, it is illegal to continue driving with it. 

You are breaking the law if you are driving with a windscreen that has the following:

  • A smashed window 
  • A crack that is about 75mm long
  • Bullseye crack with a diameter of 16mm

Furthermore, it is illegal to drive with faulty windscreen wipers, which ultimately obstructs your view by not cleaning your windscreen properly.

WA law abides by the National Road Transport Commissions’ Roadworthiness Guidelines. 

But Why is it Illegal to Drive with a Cracked Windscreen?

Decreases Visibility 

The first and most obvious one is that it affects your visibility. Not only if the crack or chip is in direct sight, but also because it can dissipate reflections, distracting you. You can read more about it here.

It Can Lead to Bigger Problems

If you ignore that crack or chip for too long, it could spread and your windscreen to shatter unexpectedly while you are driving.

This can cause you to make an accident, harming yourself, your passengers and other vehicles on the road. 

Will My Insurance Cover the Repair

The answer to this question all depends on what coverage you have with your specific insurance provider.

Always check with your insurance provider before getting your windscreen fixed to avoid disappointment and unexpected costs. In Western Australia, there are generally four types of car insurance. 

Types of Insurance Coverage in Western Australia

1. Compulsory Third-Party (CTP) WA

This is mandatory in each specific state, and you should get this automatically as it comes with your car registration process.

It basically covers any injuries that you might cause to others in the event of a car accident.

However, this does not include any damage you cause to your own or the other person’s vehicle. 

2. Comprehensive WA

This insurance covers, well, basically everything, as the name indicates. This includes damage caused to those vehicles involved in the accident and any legal costs that might be involved.

It also includes any replacement or repairs and accidental damage, such as caused by severe weather conditions.

3. Third-Party Property WA 

You only get coverage for damage caused to other properties and vehicles, not for damage to your own vehicle. Repairs, accidental damage and theft are not covered by this insurance.  

4. Third-Party Fire and Theft WA

This is effectively the same as the above, but you get to include other add-on coverage you might need, such as in the case of fire or theft. Repairs are usually only covered up to a certain extent. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Windscreen

Clean it Inside Out

Frequently clean your windscreen inside and outside with a microfibre cloth and auto glass cleaner. 

Replace All Damage Immediately 

By repairing even the small cracks and small chips immediately, it can prevent dangerous and costly damage later on.

Slow Down

It is a good idea to drive slower, especially if you drive past trucks flicking stores or debris in your direction. If the road has recently been resurfaced, you should also take care to go slower.

Can I Sell a Car with a Cracked Windscreen?

When you sell your car, it has to go through a roadworthy assessment. During this assessment, your car’s windscreen has to adhere to the law.

That means that you will have to get your windscreen fixed if the structural integrity is damaged and breaking the law, but you might not get rejected if it is as minor as a hairline crack. 

The golden rule is: if your visibility is affected, you must repair the damaged windscreen as it is then against the law and not safe to drive.

What About Window Tinting? Is that Legal in WA?

If you are interested in tinting your car windows, the good news is that it is legal. However, before you rush off to do a DIY job, you should know that the tint percentage still has to adhere to the law. 

So, yes, you can have tinting, but it cannot be too dark. Remember that most vehicles already have factory tint on the windows and that you should first determine your car’s current window tint percentage before you apply aftermarket tint. You can read more about the rules and regulations here. 

Furthermore, there are certain benefits to tinting your car windows. It keeps energy usage down by putting less pressure on your aircon, as well as reducing glare and offering a level of UV protection. 

Need Expert Windscreen Repair and Tinting Advice?

In conclusion, you should never ignore any cracked or smashed window on your vehicle. You should also never drive if your visibility is severely affected by a cracked, chipped or smashed windscreen. 

Replace it as soon as the damage occurs to avoid legal fines, costly repair bills and unfortunate accidents driving your car. 

Our experts are here to assist you and can even come out to where you are in case of an emergency. Contact us today for all your windscreen needs.