"Not Responsible For Broken Windshield"

Stuck in traffic behind one of those monster gravel trucks this morning, I had the warning decal in my face for miles. Of course I wasn’t any two hundred feet back. Who are they kidding? In this city if there’s a car-length, we put a car in it. So I’m sitting there, stuck, dreading the flying rock coming to star my poor windshield and I’m wondering why are they not responsible? Just because they say they aren’t? Can I post a sign saying ‘not responsible for bullet wounds’, take my pistol out to the road and let 'er rip? Not that it’s usually that dangerous, but I’d guess that having something smash into your window while you are doing expressway-type speed could easily cause you to be startled right into a three to six car pile-up.

And if broken windshields are that common, why can’t they come up with some decent way to keep the stupid gravel in the back of the truck in the first place? What’s with that completely ineffectual and usually dilapidated tarp thing? Hey, we’ve put a man on the moon but we have no control over the physics of gravel.

At least I escaped with my windshield intact. This time. :stuck_out_tongue:

The ARE responsible. If they don’t sercure their load it’s their problem not your’s. The sign is just there so that if something does happen to your windshield, it might keep you from calling the police since there’s a sign that says it’s not their fault.

They ARE responsible.

Here in Minnesota, we recently had a specific law passed by the Legislature specifying that they are responsible, and are supposed to cover the load with a tarp when travelling on a public road.

Many of the dump trucks here do have a canvas tarp at the top of the bucket. But it’s always rolled up at the top; I’ve never actually seen one unrolled and covering the load.

But it’s pretty hard to recover damages if a rock flys off and breaks your windshield. Basically, it’s your word against theirs in court – they always deny it happened. And even that only happens if you can identify the truck. Usually the license plate is down low under the box, and all dusty and dirty. Plus it’s hard to read it thru a smashed windshield.

Let someone else follow right behind the truck. I’d hate to go through all the hassle of trying to get them to pay for a damaged windshield. Even with the tarps down there’s still a good amount of spillage as far as bouncing gravel goes.

The sign I always see is “Not responsible for objects comeing from road”. Objects comeing from from the truck are though.

Not only that, but a number of states (after lobbying by insurance companies) have passed legislation that allows dump trucks to put their tag on the front of the truck rather than the back. The ostensible reason was that tags get damaged when they’re on the rear. The real reason is that if the tags are on the front it makes it harder for a driver with a smashed windshield to identify the owner of the offending truck, thus saving insurers money.

They are responible, but they’d prefer you didn’t collect of their insurance, and you might just believe them.

I see the same for carts in a parking lot and the stores are liable even if they don’t want you to know it. It’s their carts loose in their lot. They’re responsible for damage from anything broken in the lot they don’t clean up also.

Do you have a cite for this? I can’t think of any state that would require ONLY front license plates.

My own state is one such state.

Are you sure about that? Everything I could find about Georgia’s license plate rules seems to require a rear plate. For example, from Georgia’s code 40-2-41:

Keep reading. The statute further provides:

Sneakier than I remembered. The statute doesn’t expressly except dump trucks; that job was left to the commissioner. And I can report that dump trucks in Georgia DO NOT have tags on the back.

But that doesn’t say that the commissioner can authorize people to display only a front license plate .

Oh, wait. Now I see. You have only one plate in Georgia and it’s normally displayed on the back of the vehicle.

Yep as everyone has said, they are responsible. The would also be responsible for a rock kicked up off the road IF they don’t have proper mud flaps.

My brother used to haul for a sand and gravel company. The would duct tape the inside of the tail gate before loading up to prevent this.

The problem is proving that the rock came from the truck itself, not from the road. If they had the load covered by a tarp as you indicate, they have likely filled their legal duty. (in most cases, not having seen the truck myself I can’t say for sure, etc etc) If you can prove that the damage was caused by an item coming off an unsecured load then you have a claim, if you can’t it will most likely be denied.

If a rock comes from under a vehicles tire and hits your windshield, that is (in all states I’m aware of) considered a road hazard and is not their fault. States that I haven’t handled auto claims in may be different.

Exactly so. Dump trucks are the exception.

Okay, I think I’ve got an understanding of the situation. Legally they would be responsible for a rock flying out of the back of their shoddily covered truck, provided I followed them to a stop and got them to tell me who they are, since there was no back license plate, company name or identification of any kind, and if I had a witness or a video proving said rock was from their truck, and my insurance company’s lawyers cared enough to take on their lawyers rather than just cover the cost. Damn. The gravel industry must have some deep pockets to hire those lobbyists.

Wouldn’t it be your insurance company seeking to recover their costs from the trucker’s insurance company? You don’t have to pursue these sorts of claims yourself in the US, do you?

Over a windshield, they likely wouldn’t bother.

In general, yes. I’ll just note as a general rule, insurance on trucks like that are notoriously hard to find out about and even harder to actually collect from.

That’s most of why a lot of insurance companies just don’t waste the time and money trying to collect on a windshield claim. Having worked in both insurance and the auto glass industry, I can tell you it’s easier to just pay the claim and let it go.