Who’s to Blame for My Broken Windshield?

If you read our last write-up, you know that construction trucks and large commercial vehicles cause a lot of windshields to break when they kick up or drop rocks, gravel and debris onto the vehicles traveling behind them. If you drive frequently, chances are this has happened to you in the past.

But who’s to blame when such an incident occurs? That’s a good question, but the answer isn’t so black and white.

No matter who’s responsible, if your windshield is compromised, you’ll need to get it replaced. Give Auto Glass Fitters a call, and we’ll be glad to come out to your location and square you away with a new windshield.

Until our crew member arrives, read up on some of the rules of commercial vehicles, cracked windshields and responsibility.

Rules of Responsibility

If a piece of debris, rock or gravel falls directly from the back of a truck and hits your vehicle, causing its windshield to crack, then the commercial vehicle’s operator is responsible for the damages. However, if you’re tailgating that vehicle,  their responsibility is negated—you need to be over 100 feet behind the truck when the incident occurs.

If a truck kicks up debris with its tires, causing that object to fly into your windshield, that’s considered road debris, and the truck operator is not responsible. That can be frustrating, but it’s the law.

Grey area: In some cases, debris will fall out of a truck then bounce off of the ground and hit your windshield. When that happens, it’s considered road debris, and fault no longer lies on the driver of the commercial vehicle.

Proving Your Case

So, you were more than 100 feet away from the truck, a rock came flying out of the back of it, hit your car (without touching the ground first), then cracked your windshield. You’re not at fault! But how do you prove that?

  • If by chance you have a dashcam, that can go a long way in helping prove your claim
  • If you can get the other driver to admit fault, that will help
  • If you can take pictures that prove the truck was overloaded, that can also help

Good luck with your claim, and remember to call Auto Glass Fitters when you have a broken windshield. Safe travels!