Vehicle Windshields

In California, there are strict requirements that a driver must comply with. One of these requirements is the windshield of your vehicle. The windshield offers several important uses to a driver. It protects the drivers from the elements while at the same time providing visibility. No wonder California has strict windshield laws that drivers must make sure to follow for their safety.


We are now aware that California has a strict requirement concerning vehicles’ windshields. What are these requirements?

  • All vehicles must have a windshield, except for motorcycles and antique or classic vehicles sold originally without windshields.
  • The windshield and all other vehicles windows were manufactured after January 1, 1936, using safety glazing material to prevent shattering or flying glass if struck.   
  • It is unlawful to replace the windshield or any other glass in the vehicle with materials other than safety glazing material.
  • All vehicles, excluding motorcycles, must have working windshield wipers controlled by the driver and capable of removing rain, snow, and other moisture.

A vehicle cannot be used on the road if the windshield is defective because it impairs the driver’s vision. For example, a cracked windshield that obstructs the driver’s clear road vision is in bad shape. Likewise, a windshield covered in dried mud is in a defective condition.

How I Can Help You

I help clients secure financial compensation for their injuries. Specifically, I help injured clients recover compensation from insurance companies, negligent drivers, and other liable parties.

The first step to financial recovery is a free consultation. Call my office at (916) 270-6880 Monday – Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM to learn more about your personal injury rights and damages.

Obstructed View

The law also prohibits motorists from placing objects on the windshield that will obstruct or reduce their view. However, it does not ban drivers from placing objects on their windshields, only objects blocking a driver’s visibility. For example, the driver may put a GPS mount on the windshield, provided that it does not reduce or obstruct a driver’s view.

In addition to the requirement of a well-maintained windshield, a car must have windshield wipers. As a general rule, the law requires two windshield wipers for a vehicle. The windshield wipers must also be kept in good working condition by the driver. They must be able to operate in case there is snow, rain, or fog.


Violating the requirements discussed above can lead to a presumption of negligence on the part of the driver. It is a violation of the driver’s non-delegable duty to maintain the vehicle. The driver may be personally responsible for any liability caused by poor maintenance, even if he was not the one who personally kept the vehicle but rather a third person. 

The non-use of equipment can also constitute negligence. An example is a driver who does not use his wipers during a snowstorm to avoid breaking the wipers and replacing them.

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