Windscreen Damage - Who's to blame

Submitted: Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 19:55
ThreadID: 24974 Views:6569 Replies:16 FollowUps:25
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So a vehicle comes the other way and throws up a stone, cracking your windscreen.

Who's to blame??

Is it the vehicle who threw up the stone, OR
Is it you for travelling at sufficient speed for damage to occur?

Cheers
Phil
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Reply By: Tony Shaw - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:00

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:00
Hey Phil,

I'd class it as an accident.

Cheers, ToNy!
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:35

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:35
OK, is it preventable? And how?
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:13

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:13
In Vic, if it comes off the road/tyres, then its considered an accident, no fault, if the stone comes from a load on the vehicle in the opposite direction, then it is the fault of that vehicle for insecure load.

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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:06

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:06
Mate of mine broke his on the Birdsville track and there was no one around !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seems a stone was thrown up from front wheel and did an acrobatic stunt and came back and hit the screen and broke it !!!!!!!! LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:36

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:36
Sounds like his vehicle needs more lift :-))
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 00:02

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 00:02
Might have been a disgruntled "local" hiding in the bushes! see other posts on similar subjects!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 05:17

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 05:17
somehow cruísers can throw water forward that goes all over the widscreen I assume the same can happen with rocks, nevercould work out the physics involved
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Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:09

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:09
Its a pain in the backside when it happens but unless something physically falls of a load or someone drives off the road then I guess it is an accident. Every windscreen I have had broken was broken driving in the city not the outback.

Hopefully your insurance will cover with no loss of no claim.

See ya Monday night?
AnswerID: 121657

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:37

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:37
Hi Dave,
I'm on call Monday night, if its quiet I'll make it.

Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:14

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:14
I think this is one of those things that is just say... all too hard, so they let you have a free one each year or something.

If you were following a car, and say... his bumper bar assembly fell of, and you ran over it, and sustained damage, then I guess, he would be responsible.

Same car, same day, same road, and the car ran over say... a cardboard box that was windblown onto the road, and it lodged in your grill, and your car overheated, I guess you couldn't really sue the car.

I am thinking the same would go for stones, because they don't belong to the car, but belong to the road.

Unfenced road sides... if you hit stock, you sometimes can sue the property owner. Unfenced... to bad.

Now, come to think of it, I haven't really give you an answer, have I...

If I run over a pedestrian, because he walked when the little flashing light said "DONT WALK", who pays for the cleaning and re-polishing of my bullbar? Sorry... couldn't resist, and YES, to all those do-gooders... I have bit hit by a car whilst walking.

Cheers

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 00:01

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 00:01
if a cardboard box flew up into your grill, your car overheated and f..... the motor and you tried to sue me I'd tell you to watch your gauges and go f... yourself!!
wouldnt you????
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Follow Up By: Member - Ray - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 16:59

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 16:59
wolfie, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you hit straying stock the only person going to be sued is Y_O_U
When I was driving trains on the east west line we often cleaned up some sheep or cattle and the strange thing was it always was a prize ram or bull the railways got billed for.
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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:23

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:23
Hi Phil

On the road or the track, i guess you have to put it down to an accident and these things happen. But if you drive past a golf course and the first place the little white ball lands straight from the 1 wood is your windscreen and you and your partner think you have been shot cause you have bloodbleepout of you because broken glass in your body and your partner is freaking, blame the golf course.

We broke ours recently and the insurance does not cover windscreens in vic..... I must get that fixed.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:34

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:34
Hey, all you guys are sitting on the fence!

OK, I raise the question because pretty much everyone I've heard of who breaks a windscreen blames the oncoming vehicle because they were driving too fast and throwing up stones............Fair or Not???

Or.... is it the speed at which your vehicle travels that causes the damage?

Phil
AnswerID: 121669

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:19

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:19
well, if you have pulled over and stopped, and it came off the tyres, i guess its the vehicle coming the other way, personally, and I did a screen on last weeks trip, if the vehicle coming the other way hasnt slowed down, he gets a swerve right, then left as he goes past, and I tend to move right over left, to give the car coming as much room as possible, especially if a small bitumen strip, as I would rather be in the dirt going toward them, than the other way round ;-)

But I dont blame anyone if a stone gets the screen really, unless its the road repairs type, which the council must get sponsored by windscreens o brien or something, where they spread stones over the top, and leave em........
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:52

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:52
Hi daz,
Pulling over and stopping is drastic, and naturally I don't do that unless its a narrow road and a roadtrain is coming.

But why intimidate the other driver??? Why not just pull over and slow down to about 50 for everyone? Your truck and mine will accelerate back up to cruising speed in no time.

I didn't mean "blame" to be taken as an insurance type thing.

Cheers
Phil
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Follow Up By: at4x4 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:46

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:46
I totally agree, and I do drop my speed all the time,, usually by about 50% of my cruising speed, and my cruising speed on the dirt is normally around 140-160kph, but if the guy coming the other way isnt dropping, and he is doing my cruising speed, then he needs to know what happens when stones are coming at speed, and impacting at speed.

My screen i was doing 140kph down the Stuart hwy and the trailer of a roadtrain coming the other way through up a stone.
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Follow Up By: at4x4 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:50

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:50
And I have just realised my old id [go offroad] must be from my home PC, as my new id I loaded from work, so must chnage my home PC this arvo to suit this id.
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Follow Up By: ev700 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:02

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:02
ars4x4dotcom

You cruise at 140-160kph on dirt! Why do you do that?

EV700

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Follow Up By: at4x4 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:56

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:56
because i can????
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Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 17:06

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 17:06
well i was undecided about the prado, (thinking of future purchases) but i think that photo has swayed me a bit :-))

I'll have to pop in next time i'm visiting the relos down ST leonards.
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Follow Up By: at4x4 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 17:10

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 17:10
sure, 90 fyans St Geelong South [cnr Yarra and Fyans sts]

The prado went 1 month ago, did the recent trip in a new truck.

its currently cover girl here

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/patrol4wd/
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Reply By: kimprado - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:40

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:40
Phil,
Some class this as an accident, but in my experience it's the AH coming in the other direction who won't slow down.
The same also applies to overtaking. Just recently we were between Birdsville and Boulia when this lunatic came charging up behind us. I called him up on the UHF and let him know we were slowling down to let them pass. Did he slow down? not on your life. I now have a 4wd damaged by stones.
Regards
Kim
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:54

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:54
Hi Kim,
Thanks for that.
Yeah, overtaking vehicles is a bigger risk because both vehicles are usually travelling fast and neither slows down. I do the same as you.
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Reply By: Member - Russell B (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:54

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 20:54
Simple: SOL Accident (bleepouta luck)
AnswerID: 121673

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:16

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:16
OK, The windscreen damage depends on how hard the stone hits the windscreen.

The stone gets flicked out sideways so it has no velocity towards your vehicle.

So in my opinion, while its the speed of the other vehicle that causes stones to flick up, its actually the speed of your vehicle that causes the damage.

Why do most people continue to swear at the other driver and blame them for the damage???

Pulling over and slowing down on dirt roads is what stops you breaking windscreens.

Debate??
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:20

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:20
stones must travel a different direction in S.A Phil?
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Follow Up By: Patrolman Pat - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:43

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 21:43
I'm with you Phil. The oncoming car isn't likely to throw stones forward at you. If you slow dpwn or stop stones thrown behind the oncoming car ain't goind to hurt ya.
I've chipped two winsdscreens, both times on bitumen hitting a stone thrown up from the car in front
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Follow Up By: Alex H - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 22:35

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 22:35
I beg to differ!!! The first windscreen I broke was broken by a stone thrown up by a roadtrain coming the other way. The stone was about the size of a large marble, and I saw it coming from the time it flew off the RT's tyre. It hit my windscreen before the RT and I passed each other. Obviously the stone had a fair bit of velocity towards me.
Cheers,
Alex
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:51

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:51
Alex, Go Offroad,
so what speed were you guys travelling whenyou damaged windscreens?? Honest answers hehehe

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Follow Up By: at4x4 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:52

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 07:52
If the oncoming car isnt likely to throw stones forward, perhaps you guys can explain why my new tray has more paint missing from the inner fender panels on the ones in front of the rear tyre, vs the fender panel behind the rear tyre?

I thought it was pretty obvious that stones will go forward, and/or out from the car.....
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 09:50

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 09:50
'Why do most people continue to swear at the other driver and blame them for the damage???'

Because if they had slowed down a bit the stone would not have been flicked into the path of your windscreen.
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Reply By: rob&kev&roo - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 22:41

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 22:41
thats what insurance is for
AnswerID: 121685

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:48

Friday, Jul 22, 2005 at 23:48
Hi rob, kev & roo,

Yeah I know, but thats not my question. Just strikes me that most people blame the oncoming vehicle for broken windscreens. I'm suggesting that you may only have yourself to blame. Bit of a mythbusters type question.

Cheers
phil
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 09:46

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 09:46
The likelihood of windscreen damage is proportional to the number of stones thrown towards to you, the mass of the stones, and the square of the speed at which they hit.

The number of stones is determined by the speed of the oncoming vehicle and how far apart the cars are when they pass. A faster vehicle is tossing up more stones and to a greater height.

The mass of the stones is a characteristic of the road. Sometimes even 10 mm crushed gravel can chip or crack glass if it hits fast enough. The mass of a stone is proportional to the cube of its diameter. A one inch stone weighs 27 times as much as 10 mm crushed gravel.

The speed at which stones hit you is mostly determined by how fast you are going, given that the stones mostly flick out sideways when the tyre runs over them.

A big stone will damage your glass even if you slow to 20 kph.

So in physics, both cars are to blame. In law, which has nothing to do with physics, fairness, justice, commonsense or anything else for that matter, it sounds like it is 'tough bickies baby'

The moral of the story is that bush travellers should slow down as they pass other vehicles so as to reduce windscreen damage. If there is coarse gravel or rocks they should slow down even more. The sad fact is that the vehicle not slowing down isn't the one likely to sustain damage, and it is usually driven by someone who is either stupid, or doesn't own the vehicle and couldn't give a toss.

AnswerID: 121722

Reply By: Dazzle - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 10:14

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 10:14
Phil,

No one is to blame...it's just life on a gravel road! wrong place, wrong time, wrong size. And it is definitely not classed as an accident as some believe. . If you tried to report it to the local police they'd tell you to go away. (so long as it was a stone and not a foreign object/load)

Daz
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Reply By: ev700 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:10

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:10
I thought etiquette was that both slowed - the commonsense being to retain better control of the vehicle and to reduce stones thrown into the path of the other vehicle.

EV700
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Follow Up By: ev700 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:25

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 11:25
Slowing down for other vehicles on a graded road is as much part of the code of the outback as leaving gates as you found them or stopping to help someone in need.

Barging through with an 'I'm all right Jack' attitude is road rage and is un-Australian.

EV700
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Reply By: Andrew (Whyalla) - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:02

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 12:02
Phil

On the "main" outback roads I cruise at 80-120 depending on the road condition. When a vehicle approaches I slow down to about 60 and get as far over to the left as I can (while dodging the big marbles).
I slow down to reduce the impact speed and move over to try and dodge the impact altogether.

Doing this would probably add 15minutes to a days outback driving.
AnswerID: 121735

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 20:22

Saturday, Jul 23, 2005 at 20:22
There is no "accident" that is ever 100% the "blame" of one party and 0% the blame of the other. (Assuming 2 parties here but obviously there can be more or less)

My point is that if you receive a broken windscreen from a stone that pops up from the vehicle coming the other way, you have some degree of "fault" just because you are there. The other vehicle also has some degree of "fault" because it is there.

If you could prove that the driver of the other vehicle deliberately caused the stone to flick up, you might succeed in an action against him, but this type of issue is considered an "act of god". (An unsafe load is a different case)

Moving on to what causes the windscreen to break, it is a function of the mass of the stone, its speed, and its impact angle relative to the same factors from your vehicle, which generate an impact force sufficient to cause the glass to break.

So, in simple terms, if you are doing 80 and the stone is doing 80 the impact speed is 160, and the result will be the same as if you are doing 50 and the stone is doing 110. You can test this at home by hitting a piece pf glass with a hammer, and then hitting the hammer with a piece of glass the same size - the glass will break just the same in both cases!

AnswerID: 121773

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 19:05

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 19:05
Thanks everyone for their responses.
Sorry to have some confusion in the title - wasn't interested in "liability" or insurance, just interested in what is most likely to cause a broken windscreen, and how they can be avoided. And it interests me that most people blame the oncoming driver.

My conclusion is that you, personally have no control over what the other guy does.

But by slowing down, you will reduce the velocity at which a stone impacts on your windscreen, and by pulling over to the side, you reduce the chance of a stone coming straight at you.

So YOU can avoid the majority of chipped and broken windscreens, and if you break one, you can take a lot of the blame yourself. Hardest ones to avoid are the ones when travelling on bitumen.

Just my opinion.
Cheers
Phil
AnswerID: 121835

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