General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

Is it legal to drive with a crumpled hood?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21462points) March 8th, 2010

I got into my first car accident tonight and thankfully, everyone is okay, but I wish I could say the same about my car. It got wedged under an SUV and the hood is crumpled.

The car is perfectly fine otherwise, but I don’t want to get in trouble for driving it like that and am wondering if I can in California. I tested the hood and it seems stuck downward, not like it’s going to fly up at high speed or anything. It doesn’t much affect my view of the road, the damage is just kind of ugly to look at.

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10 Answers

ArtiqueFox's avatar

Wow, Google has little to offer on this topic.

According to this thread, its not an official violation, but a crumpled hood is just bagging for a cop’s attention. Besides, you have to drive the car in for repairs, so the first twenty-four hours are safe.

Here, my little part of Montana, driving around with a crumpled car (hood and more) is the “fashion” Cops around here don’t bat an eye.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

You’ll get harassed by traffic cops, legal or no. Fix it.

lilikoi's avatar

You could try to find applicable law. Not sure if the City or County would get a say in that matter or not… I’d imagine it isn’t illegal (I know a windshield is definitely required in my state), unless it is part of an energy absorption system, then maybe, but that seems like it would be hard to prove. I guess you could just call the police station and ask.

davidbetterman's avatar

It really depends on how the crumpled hood affects your vision.

john65pennington's avatar

No, its not a violation of the law, but make sure the hood is securely fastened to the body of your car. when the hood comes up, while driving 70 + mph on the interstate, could be a setting for disaster and you will be liable for any and all personal and property damages.

You most likely will be stopped by the police for this reason: the police have a responsibility to make sure your vehicle is safe to operate on the highway. liability is the main issue here.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Sometimes it does help to have a cop in here, but what’s he doing encouraging speeding?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks, guys.. I was really out-of-sorts last night. I’ve been driving for nearly 20 years and am a really good, careful driver. The guy in front of me stopped suddenly and there was little I could do.

The hood seems to be attached pretty securely, so I don’t feel too worried about that. I guess I’ll give it a go and see what happens.


davidbetterman's avatar

You probably shouldn’t be following so closely @MissAnthrope

MissAnthrope's avatar

It was heavy traffic, kind of hard to keep a distance of 4–5 seconds because here in CA, people just cut in front of you the moment you have a car length available. I was at least 2 seconds behind him.. I definitely had a few seconds of Oh, shit as my brakes locked up or something and my car just kept rolling. This is the first car I’ve had that has ABS, so I’m not sure if what happened with the brakes was normal or not, but the guy I hit even said that when the guy in front of him stopped suddenly, that he knew he was going to be hit because it was so sudden.

bck1987's avatar

@MissAnthrope This is EXACTLY what happened to me today this morning in the exact same situation, thankfully all lights still work, and hood seems attached still i don’t even know if i CAN open it and don’t want to try till i can get it fixed, from what i am looking at (luckily finding a fair auto body guy) its gonna run me around 1500 if i provide parts. Gotta love cali drivers, i cant tell you how many times i have almost rear ended someone for stopping suddenly and now it has actually happened.

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