𝘕𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 24, 2021
We have both road and housing construction going on near our house and the highway is constantly traveled by large dump trucks hauling dirt from one location to another. I have noticed the trucks all have two warning signs on the tailgate. The first is written in large letters and declares, “Do Not Push.” Having no desire to push a dump truck, I tend to ignore these warning signs. The other warning tells me to “Stay Back”, and then in smaller letter declares the owner is not responsible for any damage from rocks thrown by the truck. While the dump trucks have not thrown any rocks my way, I mentioned earlier how the semis on the interstate were a constant nemesis for the windows of our small sports car.
When I looked online, I found the warning about pushing is a reminder for construction workers. It is common for dump trucks to operate in mud, snow, and icy conditions. That means construction vehicles get stuck. Despite the semis pulled on the Strongest Man shows, construction vehicles are not unstuck by people pushing on the bumper. They need a stronger push and that means another construction vehicle. A dump truck is made from two main parts, the chassis (the truck part) and the bed (the dumping part). The connections between these two parts are designed to be strong when supporting the weight of the load and while lifting the bed to dump the load. The parts are not designed to withstand a horizontal force applied by a push and the connections could break or bend if the truck is pushed from behind. The warning is a reminder to pull the truck out of the mud rather than push it.
The other warning sign says, “Warning! Stay Back 200 feet,” and then declares “NOT responsible for broken windshields!” Again, looking online I found that legally you can ignore the second sign, but it is still good advice if you do not want a broken windshield. Truckers are required to secure their loads and are heavily regulated by both state and federal laws. They are required to load their trucks in such a way that the contents do not fly off and hurt cars or drivers who share the road. The problem may be trying to litigate the owner of the truck in small claims court. If the rock was on the road and did not fall from the truck, the trucker is not liable. You need to prove the rock was from a specific truck and fell off the truck rather than being thrown by the tires. My comprehensive insurance covers small chips, and the frequency of events is why insurance companies have a $100 deductible to replace the windshield.
𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀: We rented a car when Melissa and I were in Maui. I usually consider the insurance a hassle as my personal policy provides the same coverage. This time I took the insurance without thinking. One of the sights was driving Hana Road to view the rain forest and waterfalls, but this came with a warning. The narrow, winding, switchback road is barely wide enough for cars to traverse. It is also a main road frequented by large dump trucks. I happened to slow down as we approached a sharp turn and a pair of dump trucks cut the corner and took out my mirror and the side of the car. They did not stop. When we arrived in Hana, I reported the incident and was told it happened all the time. The insurance I had purchased by chance covered the damage. Insurance is something we buy hoping to never use, but when we do need it makes a difference as we are protected. The same could be said about vaccines. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.