Almost everyone has seen the large semi trucks that haul up and down Utah’s main thoroughfare - Interstate 15. And many more have heard the soft pitter patter on their windshield as they attempt to pass a hauling rig carrying dirt, gravel, soil or whatever other substance might contain rocks in it.
Some have even seen the signs on the back end of the trailer that read “Stay back 200 Feet. Not responsible for damaged windshields.” But these signs aren’t necessarily true.
Construction sites are widely known for their rock chips they give out to unsuspecting drivers, leaving them with the ticket of a rock chip repair. Usually when a state has some sort of road project, they will usually strike a deal with the company, holding them responsible for cleaning up the area after they are done for the day, or for that matter, finished all together.
But all it takes is one small rock to create a chip and the need for a repair. In Utah, no one knows this better than Provo residents who pass through projects on I-15 that seem like they’ve dragged on forever.
There are good things and bad things about these trucks and their trail of rocks and chip repairs. The good, although a hassle, is that the rock chips are preventable if users would just abide by the warning on the truck. Tailgating a slow-moving dump truck will do nothing but demolish a windshield, riddling it with rock chips. Another good thing is that drivers can actually pursue trucks who spray their windshields with rock chips and cause out of pocket costs for repairs.
The signs might be true to prevent a rock chip from happening on the driver’s part, but it is the truck driver’s responsibility to cover the load up with a tarp or canvas. If they don’t, they’re responsible for the rock chip repairs and other windshield repairs on cars that are garnered from these trucks with unsecured loads.
Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s hard to prove that the rock that chipped a windshield came from that specific dump truck. And even if the rock can be traced back to the load, it’s hard to track down which truck was traveling on which road and which driver was behind the wheel and who, at the construction site, was responsible for making sure there was a tarp on top of the load.