Tinted windows can alter a vehicle’s appearance while minimizing a driver’s exposure to the sun. Although you might enjoy the way darker windows make your car look, have you considered whether they could affect safety?

Many vehicle manufacturers tint windows, yet darker aftermarket tinting comes in varying degrees. The lower your visible light transmittance (VTL) percentage, the darker your glass will appear. No matter how good you think your car looks, you could face consequences for windows that are too dark.

Dark windows could raise safety concerns

While states have varied guidelines for tinted windows, Michigan does not have restrictions on how low your VTL percentage can be. However, you could still run into trouble for making your windows as dark as possible.

Dark window film can increase your privacy. Unfortunately, it can also raise suspicions and draw unnecessary attention to what may be inside your vehicle, increasing instances of break-ins.

The potential safety risks of tinted windows include:

  • Lacking the ability to see into your vehicle could escalate law enforcement officers’ concerns during a traffic stop, after an accident or when looking for a suspect.
  • Pedestrians or other motorists may not be able to see you in your vehicle, decreasing your ability to communicate at an intersection, for example.
  • Tinted windows can elevate your accident risk through decreased visibility, especially after dark or on cloudy days.

As a result, the increased dangers associated with lowering your VTL percentage may raise your insurance rate. While you weigh your options of how cool you want your car to look, you might be wise to consider whether you are ready to take on the potential liability of going too low.