Tinted windows are a great way to beat the heat in the summer, especially if you spend long hours on the road. The shade provided by these windows can cool down the internal temperature of a car, even if it is sitting in the hot sun, and make it easier for drivers and passengers to get in and out, especially in Colorado, where the days are consistently warm and sunny.
However, tinted windows can have their disadvantages and may even be unsafe in some cases. Before you add these windows to your car, it is best to consider the laws regarding tint shades and liability, as well as the advantages and disadvantages involved.
Tinted Window Pros and Cons
Obviously, tinted windows are more beneficial in the summer and in sunny climates. Denver has roughly 300 days of full sun each year and on-the-go residents may need to keep cool with as much shade as they can get. Having tinted windows on your vehicle can result in the following benefits:
- Reduction of glare from the sun, snow or other vehicles’ headlights
- Less eye strain for the driver
- UV ray blockage
- Sunscreen needs are lowered while in the vehicle
- Protection of the car’s interior — upholstery, leather, and fixtures — from heat damage
- Privacy to prevent others from seeing in and potentially stealing contents and valuables
- Temperature regulation within the car that results in a lower need for air conditioning
However, tinted windows can also be too tinted, causing accidents and dangerous situations for drivers, as well as their passengers and the other vehicles around them. Window tinting may reduce the driver’s visibility to a dangerous degree or prevent the driver from seeing clearly in situations where visibility is already poor, such as in heavy snow or rain conditions, or late at night.
Window Tinting Laws in Colorado
Most states allow drivers to have tinted windows and the laws regulating tinting vary by state and rely heavily on the Visible Light Transmission percentage rations (or VLT percentage). VLT percentage refers to the amount of visible light that can pass through the film of the window tint and the glass, and it measures how dark a window is when it is tinted. Certain tints are considered too dark in Colorado and are illegal under state laws that were established in 1995.
For sedans, vans and SUVs, drivers are allowed to have non-reflective tint on the top four inches of the windshield. The tint on the front and rear passenger windows, as well as the rear window, must have more than 27 percent of light visibility.
Tinting film can contain metallic elements that reflect incoming light and reduce the glare and heat from visible light, but it cannot appear metallic or mirrored. Additionally, window tinting cannot be done in red or amber, and in vehicles where the back window is tinted, there must be dual side mirrors in place.
Drivers of cars with tinted windows are encouraged to put a sticker on their vehicles to identify legal tinting, but this is not required. Additionally, you should be aware that tint film manufacturers do not have to certify film sold within the state.
As Always, Use Caution
Window tinting can keep you cool, but if done illegally, it can become a major hazard. If you have been involved in an auto accident of any kind, you may need the help of one of the Denver car accident attorneys at Levine Law. Call for a consultation today.