NOW WHAT? While driving on a highway, a stone from a passing truck bounces a few times. Then it lands with a hard thud on your windshield leaving a chip in the glass.
Who is responsible to pay for the windshield repair or replacement?
If a rock falls off the truck, hits the road first, then bounces up and cracks your windshield, the driver of that truck is not responsible. As soon as a rock hits the road, it is considered a road hazard.
You know what truck threw the stone but what can you do about it. Should you follow him down the highway? That can be dangerous. At any rate, taking down the license plate number and company name may be a good idea to be used later when you decide how to handle it.
As you get closer and try to pass the truck, you read a sign on the back that says, “Not responsible for rocks thrown from the road. Stay Back 100 Feet.”
Not responsible? Just because there is a sign, does it make it so?
Even if the rocks are coming from that very truck? The only way the driver is responsible for the chip in your windshield is if it falls directly from the truck onto your windshield.
The exception to the rule may be if the truck is illegally overfilled. It’s a good idea to take a cellphone photo of the truck if you get the chance and it doesn’t put you in danger. You can always report the overfill to authorities. In some cases, the driver will admit to the mistake and pay the damage. This may be a frustrating process and may not happen in the end.
If this unfortunate incident happens to you, act quickly to get a repair. A chip can become a full crack in a matter of minutes and can happen quicker in extreme cold or hot weather. Cracks that are larger than a quarter probably cannot be repaired. In that case, the windshield needs to be replaced. Free windshield replacement laws are tied into state insurance laws, which are set into place by each individual state.
After you shake off the frustration and your blood pressure settles down, safety should be your biggest concern. Have your windshield repaired or replaced as soon as possible.