A cracked window may seem like little more than an inconvenience, but it can pose a real hazard. The following are five reasons to have your windshield repaired sooner rather than later.

1. Cracked Windows Are Unsafe

Cracks in the safety glass that makes up your windshield undermine its structural integrity. That means that the glass is more likely to shatter or fall inward in the event of a car accident. Cracks that reach the edge of the windshield are the most dangerous, but all cracks should be treated with caution. Further, remember that cracks that are in the driver's line of sight or large spiderweb cracks can greatly reduce visibility, particularly at night.

2. Auto Glass Damage Can Result in Fines

It's possible to receive a traffic ticket for driving with a damaged windshield. Most municipalities or states have rules when it comes to the condition of the windshield. Any crack can potentially obstruct the driver's sight, whether it's on a front, side, or rear window, a crack can result in a ticket. The severity of the ticket depends on whether it's considered a moving or a safety violation, as well as the local laws.

3. Windshield Cracks Can Cause Moisture Issues

A crack can allow moisture into your car, particularly if the crack reaches the edge of the window where it can compromise the seal. Moisture can cause condensation and spotting on the interior of the window, which can inhibit visibility. Mold and mildew in the headliner or dash surrounding the cracked windshield is also a concern. Even if there is no visible mold, musty odors can develop and the spores may affect your respiratory health.

4. Repair Can Be Possible If Addressed Early

Sometimes it makes financial sense to address a crack in your window as soon as it occurs. Depending on the size and location of the crack, your glass service may be able to repair rather than replace — at a much lower cost. As a basic guideline, a crack is usually repairable if it is less than 3 inches long and it isn't located right in the driver's line of sight or near the edge of the glass.

5. Acting Early Affords More Options

If you put off a glass replacement, the crack can worsen to the point where you can't safely drive your vehicle. This can greatly reduce your option or where to have the work performed. Start calling for replacement quotes as soon as you notice the damage. Acting early gives you time to shop around and find the best place to schedule your repair.

Contact an auto safety glass replacement service for more help.