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 crack in the windshield.
Who is responsible to pay for the windshield repair or replacement because of the crack in the windshield?
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.
The frustration comes when you know what truck dropped the stone. What can you do about it? Following him down the highway can be dangerous especially if you are upset. You can take down the company name and license plate number.
Not responsible? Just because there is a sign, does it make it so?
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.”
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.
If the truck is illegally overfilled, there may be an exception. It’s a good idea to take a photo of the truck if you can and it doesn’t put you in danger. 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, get a repair as soon as possible. A chip can become a full crack in a matter of minutes, hours or days 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.
When all is said and done, if you and your passengers are safe, that should be the most important concern. Have your windshield repaired or replaced as soon as possible.