All UK motorists have been warned about a Highway Code rule that could result in a hefty fine.

The windscreen is an integral part of the car's structure and, when damaged, could affect visibility.

This in turn can be deemed as a dangerous obstruction to driving.

Damage can be caused by stone chips or loose road debris and can affect how well the driver can see the road, potentially dazzling or creating glare when sunlight or other drivers' headlights hit the glass.

Driving with a damaged windscreen can be considered a motoring offence, as it may be seen as using a vehicle in a dangerous condition. If an accident occurs while driving with a cracked windscreen, motorists could face a more serious charge of "using a vehicle in a dangerous condition."

Under Annex 6 of the Highway Code, "windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision".

Preventing chips and scratches to a windscreen

  • In colder temperatures, windscreens can freeze and changes in temperature can cause the glass to crack. Therefore, drivers should avoid pouring hot or boiling water directly onto the glass.
  • Drivers should replace windscreen wipers once a year to make sure they're removing debris that builds up and could cause a scratch.
  • Drivers should check their windscreen for damage and seek help to repair any small cracks and prevent chips from becoming larger.
  • Motorists should drive carefully on uneven road surfaces to avoid stones and gravel hitting the glass and be sure to travel at the correct distance from the vehicle in front at all times.

A small crack could see motorists slapped with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice, and could even result in an MOT fail.

However, a larger crack in a windscreen may result in a £2,500 fine and three points on the licence.