Kicked-up stones a greater hazard on Southwest’s roads

Desert drivers know all too well what it’s like to be struck by little rocks that get kicked up on the road. The usual culprits are semitrailer trucks and pickup trucks with oversized tires.

“The off-road tires are the kind that pick up the rocks,” said Jenny Bridges, whose husband was a mechanic who fixed many dings and cracks. “And if you have an RV, then it’s very, very expensive to get (it fixed).”

Frances Alongi can commiserate. Her windshield got hit by a pebble, and the remnant of the event is still there.

“They fixed it, but you can still see that tiny little hole of light that comes through,” she said. “It bothers me. It’s right smack in front of the driver.”

Her insurance company would not replace the windshield. Ever since, when she gets behind an 18-wheeler, she slows down to let it get well ahead of her.

Michael Geeser is the president of the Nevada Insurance Council. He said rocks being thrown up by tires is a huge problem all over the Southwest, particularly around Phoenix and Las Vegas “or wherever there’s a lot of construction and debris blowing. … Most insurance companies, especially the big ones, will waive the deductible for a (crack repair) in Las Vegas, just because it happens so often and they want to be good partners with their customers. That’s not the case in many other cities.”

In 2010, the U.S. saw 26,649 in auto-glass claims, according to CostHelper reports that replacing a windshield will run between $100 and $400. Opting for a non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) windshield can save hundreds of dollars.

According to the Society of Automotive Engineers, windshields are the No. 1 insurance claim America, with 30 percent of auto insurance claims being windshield damage. Cracks around the edges account for roughly 70 percent to 80 percent of windshield replacements. Called “edge cracks,” they occur because the outer 2 inches of a windshield’s perimeter are the weakest part and prone to“residual stresses.” While it can handle the initial impact, that area has a tendency to fracture soon after, sometimes into cracks as long as 12 inches. Windshield replacements were reduced in 1990, after the introduction of Ultra Bond, a resin injected into cracks.

Even so, as many as 63 percent of windshield replacements (totaling 56 million) in America resulted from edge cracks, according to an Ultra Bond survey based on invoices from 1997 to 2002.

Many windshields never crack from thrown-up pebbles, but may have smaller damage called stars. On average, insurance companies pay for 10 star repairs for every windshield replacement, the National Windshield Repair Association reports, with the average replacement claim running about $400. The average repair, it shows, costs $50.

Big rigs are just as apt to sustain damage as are cars. Saul Jauredui, 27, has been a truck driver for six years and does local runs. He said tires on an 18-wheeler and other big rigs have deeper tread, so they are more likely to pick up pebbles.

“And we do a lot of construction site deliveries, so we get them there,” he said of the rocks.

He said it would take too long to pick out the pebbles every time he passes through a construction site. Time, after all, is money. But he’s been a victim of trucks throwing off rocks, too.

“Sometimes, other trucks break my windshields. It happened again about a month ago and it’s happened with my car, too,” he said.

There is one area of their trucks they keep free from pebbles: the flatbed.

“We have to sweep off any rocks because if we get pulled over and there are rocks on it, we get ticketed,” he said. “But the tires, no, we don’t really pay attention to them.”

Tristan Barnes, manager of TechnaGlass, 2515 W. Craig Road, estimated the store helps 15 patrons who’ve had their windshields hit each week. Only 2 percent require a full window being replaced, he said.

“It’s usually just a chip,” he said.

How strong are windshields?

“There’s a test they (glass manufacturers) do, a bowling ball that they drop from 80 feet and if it punctures the windshield, then that whole batch can’t (be used),” he said.

Contact Jan Hogan at or 702-387-2949.

Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas firefighters put out blaze along Bonanza Road
Las Vegas firefighters put out a blaze that burned for about 15 minutes Feb. 20, 2018, along Bonanza Road, across from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Jeff Mosier/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cabana Market Shooting -- Persons of Interest
On February 3, 2018 at approximately 1:57 p.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a parking lot located in the 3900 block of East Owens Avenue to investigate a report that a man had been shot. Responding officers located an unresponsive adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like