Brian White | August 11, 2022 | Texas Laws
Many vehicles on the road have some type of tint on the windows. Tinting vehicle windows helps protect them from heat and harmful rays. It can also reduce glare.
However, there are restrictions on tinting vehicle windows in Texas. Rule 21.3 of the Texas Administrative Code sets the standards for privacy window devices for motor vehicles.
Window Tint Laws Texas Drivers Need to Know
The amount of tint you can have on vehicle windows depends on the window’s location. Below is a summary of the tinting standards in Texas:
The rules for tint devices on the front windshield include:
- Tint cannot be above the AS-1 line. If the windshield does not have an AS-1 line, the tint must stop five inches below the top of the windshield.
- 25% or less for the luminous reflectance value when measured in combination with the original glass
- 25% or more for the light transmittance value when measured in combination with the original glass.
- Blue, amber, and red tint colors are prohibited.
You may use an un-tinted (clear) UV film over any section of the windshield. A medical exemption is not required for this type of tint.
The type of tint on the rear windshield depends upon whether the vehicle has outside mirrors on the sides of the vehicle.
There are no restrictions for tinting rear windows if:
- The vehicle has an outside mirror on each side of the vehicle; AND,
- The windows allow the driver to see the roadway for at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle.
However, if the car does not have outside mirrors that provide the minimum distance view, tinting must have a light transmittance value of 25% or more in combination with the original glass. The luminous reflectance value must be 25% or less in combination with the original glass.
The side windows to the left and right of the driver can have sunscreen. However, the same rules apply for light transmittance (25% or more) and luminous reflectance (25% or less) values.
The side windows to the rear of the driver are exempted from tinting regulations.
Are There Exceptions to the Window Tint Laws in Texas?
Law enforcement vehicles and vehicles used to transport passengers regularly for a fee (i.e., buses, limos, and taxis) are exempt. There are also some medical tint exceptions.
If a person requires tint on the two front windows that is darker than the 25% requirement, they must meet the following requirements:
- A licensed optometrist or physician must sign a medical exemption statement
- The medical statement must identify the driver or occupant of the vehicle with the exemption
- The medical professional must state that it is their opinion that the tinting is required to safeguard the health of the occupant or the driver
The signed medical exemption statement must be kept in the vehicle at all times. The driver must present the exemption statement to a police officer when requested. Also, the statement must be presented during annual vehicle inspections.
Can Window Tinting Affect the Outcome of a Car Accident Claim?
Texas is a fault-based state for car accident claims. If a driver causes a car crash, the driver can be held financially liable for damages caused by the car accident.
The types of damages you could receive for a car accident claim include economic and non-economic damages. Examples of those damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Medical bills and expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of income, including benefits, future lost wages, and diminished earning capacity
- Physical therapy and nursing care
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- Decrease in quality of life
- Personal care and household services
You have the burden of proving that the other driver caused the accident and the accident resulted in your injuries and damages. However, if you are partially to blame for the cause of the crash, you might not receive the full value of your damages.
Texas has a modified contributory fault law. The law bars a victim from receiving any money for damages if they are more than 50% to blame for the cause of their injury.
Furthermore, the proportionate responsibility law in Texas states that a victim’s compensation is reduced by their level of fault when they are less than 51% at fault. In other words, if your actions contributed to the cause of the car wreck by 30%, the compensation for your damages is reduced by 30%.
Typically, legal tinting does not impact a driver’s visibility, so it should not affect a car accident claim. However, if the other party can prove that illegal tinting on your vehicle played a role in the cause of the car accident, you might not receive the full amount of your damages.
Illegal tinting can complicate a car accident case. Therefore, it is best to seek legal advice from a car accident lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster about the claim.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
For more information, contact the Houston car accident law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000.
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
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Houston, TX 77054