Is It Illegal to Drive with a Broken Headlight Cover?

Is It Illegal to Drive with a Broken Headlight Cover

In most states, you will probably get pulled over for a ticket if you drive with a faulty headlight cover. Even if your headlight is working but some portion of it is broken, you are technically having a “dangerous vehicle,” which is subjected to a fine and may also bring an addition to your license points.

It depends on how you fixed your broken cover, which decides whether a law enforcement agency will give you a ticket and enforce points. Let’s look at a detailed description on this topic to understand if your covers fall under the criteria of getting fined:

Is It Possible To Drive With A Shattered Headlight Lens?

Is It Possible To Drive With A Shattered Headlight Lens

First and foremost, driving with a faulty headlight is dangerous. Driving with only one headlight limits visibility and hinders your ability to see the road clearly; this may be particularly dangerous if you come across unexpected obstructions.

According to the information from the American Safety Council, if your headlight cover is damaged, the officers have the authority to stop you. 

In most state police departments like the Michigan state police, this is typically done to call your emphasis on the fact that you have a damaged headlamp cover, in case you were unaware.

You will most probably be permitted to go free after receiving this notification if you pledge to take care of it as soon as possible.

Dangers of Driving With a Broken Headlight Cover

Your visibility will reduce greatly with a broken headlight cover. Moreover, it can also cause trouble to upcoming drivers by hindering their vision. Moreover, a broken headlight cover means, the inside of the housing and the bulbs are not safe from debris and you may end up having a fully broken headlight.

Driving With a Broken Headlight Cover

How Do You Fix Plastic Headlight Covers

You can either change your plastic headlight covers entirely or use tape to fix them up a bit so that you do not get fined. Let’s look at both procedures:

Using a tape:

  • Disconnect the headlamps at first to stop them from melting the tape or any protective film cover.
  • Packing tape should be used to fix the edges of the headlamps by inserting them into the space between the car's frame and the light.
  • After that, use masking tape or painter's tape to tape over the edges of the packing tape. Water or moisture will not be able to enter the headlamp as a result of this. Then, using your hands, gently push and smooth the tape to ensure that it fits exactly to the headlamp with no gaps or crevices.

Replacing the cover:

Cost: The kind and model of the car determine how to replace a damaged headlight cover. It is because, particularly when working with glass headlight covers, if the cover is cracked, you may have to replace the existing headlight assembly with a new one.

Another area where you might spend more money is whether you will do the assembly personally or with the aid of professionals in the field. Nonetheless, depending on the model of your car and the type of headlights, the cost to replace an automobile headlight fully ranges from $250 to $700.

This cost is likely to fluctuate over time, but checking costs on sites where individuals provide the services can provide you with a realistic estimate of their current market prices when you need it.

The process:

  • Remove the old covers with a screwdriver, but be careful not to speed the procedure since you risk harming the headlight lens.
  • Beginning with the right headlamp before the left, lock on or hook and loop the new headlight covers, which may be completed in minutes.
  • Join electrical contacts or mask certain areas before painting with an automatically graded tape. Because these PVC electric tapes are stress delicate, you should cut them to size and then press them into position before using them. This results in a strong and robust binding that holds up well in all weather and driving conditions.
Fix Plastic Headlight Cover

Reasons for Cover Getting Damaged

Cracks in headlight covers can occur for a variety of causes. The most noticeable of them is the constant attack of the elements, particularly UV rays in circumstances when you park your automobile in the sun for extended periods of time and on a regular basis.

The use of hazardous cleaning chemicals and waxes can potentially be damaging. The materials utilized in their manufacture also have an impact on how prone these headlight covers are to cracks.

Finally, hard and violent collisions, which are prevalent during crashes when you press the breaks on a flashing yellow arrow, can easily break or destroy the headlight covers.

This is why it is critical to purchase only headlight covers made from the highest-quality materials. Overall, make the best decisions possible when purchasing replacement headlight covers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you drive with a broken headlight during the day?

A broken headlight can be dangerous to you and others on the road, so you definitely shouldn’t drive around with a broken headlight. If you’re unsure whether or not your headlights are broken, then call a mechanic and let them check it out.

How do you temporarily cover a broken headlight?

When you’ve accidentally damaged your headlight and need a quick fix, you can use a clear plastic sheet to temporarily cover the damaged part of your headlights. You can also get a headlight repair kit, which is a small box filled with all the necessary materials. These kits usually come with a rubber washer, screws, and adhesive tape.

Can you drive in the rain with a broken headlight?

No, you cannot drive in the rain with a broken headlight. It’s important to maintain your vehicle’s safety and health, and a broken headlight is a serious issue that could possibly lead to a fatal accident. It’s better to leave it to a mechanic to fix the problem, and you should plan ahead if you plan to drive in the rain.

Can you put clear tape over a broken headlight?

Yes, you can. Tape is made from a polyester polymer material, which is flexible and durable. In most cases, tape works best as a temporary measure and can be removed after a few days. For a long-lasting solution, you should check out the Fix Your Headlight Kit, which includes everything you need to fix your headlights.

What can I use to cover my headlights?

You can use a simple tarpaulin, but it might not completely block out the light. Hence, you need a way to block the sun completely. One solution to this problem is to buy solar-powered LED lights that can illuminate a space while providing energy.

Final Note

Most modern automobiles feature a big polycarbonate glass covering the headlight bulbs. Changing the glass can be pricey, but a quick trip to an auto supply store for a few simple things will help you level out the fractures in the headlight lens in no time.

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