Is it Legal to Drive Around Without a Car Hood in Washington State?
Do I Need To Have A Hood On My Vehicle In Washington State?
Alright, I see you, driver without your hood, driving around the Tri-Cities. I've always wondered what would happen if you tossed a squirrel into your engine as you are driving down the road.
Am I Required To Have A Hood Covering On My Classic Car In Washington State?
The funny thing is that these cars I see driving around without their hood are usually cars that you'd expect to see in a junkyard. I'm not talking about a classic car that is obviously built that way.
It got me thinking, is it legal to be driving around without your car hood in Washington State?
I did some digging and here's what I found out:
While the regulation does not specifically mention the requirement for a hood, it does state that vehicles must have "properly functioning equipment, such as brakes, lights, and mirrors, that is in good condition and adjusted as needed to operate safely on the roadways."
Additionally, the regulation requires that vehicles must have "fenders, covers, or devices, including flaps or splash aprons, adequate to reduce the spray or splash of water or other substances to the rear of the vehicle, as much as practicable, in compliance with RCW 46.37.537.
Based on these requirements, it could be argued that a vehicle without a hood may not be in compliance with the regulations, as the hood may be considered a cover or device that is necessary to protect the engine and maintain proper ventilation.
I did discover after reading further that hoods are optional equipment on vehicles defined as street rod vehicles, custom vehicles, and kit vehicles.
So it does look like with certain vehicles you can drive around without a car hood in Washington State but it obviously doesn't apply to the majority of vehicles on the road and broken-down jalopies that you know are obviously illegal.
I see you, illegal driver.