Locals Note Rock Chipped Windshields Common in RGV

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MCALLEN – If you drive in the Rio Grande Valley, you’re probably familiar with rock chipped windows.

“It’s that rock when you hear that crack and then you're just praying it doesn't spread all over," explained Antonio Serena.

Serena was getting a crack in his less than one-week-old windshield filled at Crackmaster Windshield Repair in McAllen.

"I had a big one and I had to replace the whole windshield and now again,” he said.

Francisco Ordonez owns the repair shop. He said he sees some customers for chip repairs on a weekly basis.

"Most the time, they complain about the roads not being taken care of properly and dirty,” Ordonez said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Texas Department of Transportation.

"It's happened to me where you're driving around and there's no commercial vehicles, and suddenly this pebble comes out of nowhere,” said TxDOT spokesman Octavio Saenz.

Saenz said TxDOT spends more than $2 million a year sweeping state highways in the district, picking up debris and road hazards.

He said that’s not including emergency spills that happen when drivers travel with unsecured truckloads.

"The assurance I can give to anyone on our roads is they’re designed and maintained to be the safest that they can,” said Saenz.

Saenz mentioned barriers are placed around construction sites to cut down on gravel from getting on the road and district highways are swept two or three times a month.

"Out of 140,000 cars that transfer right here at the spot in McAllen, if every vehicle dropped one pebble – that’s 140,000 pebbles just laying around the road,” he explained.

There are other factors that fall out of TXDOT’s hands.

Saenz said keeping a safe following distance and securing your truckloads properly is important to staying safe and avoiding chips for you and other motorists.

The exact reason why it feels your window gets chipped easier in the Valley is hard to explain. Some say it’s the caliche roads. 

According to the Hidalgo County Planning Department, there are 607.51 miles of unpaved roads in the unincorporated areas of Hidalgo County as of 2015.

Others said it's construction or how the weather can wear on the roads and tires.

While that’s uncertain, one thing that is certain according to Serena. "We need to live with it and just repair it, I guess," he said.

When you want to protect your windshield from chips and runs, in most cases you would need comprehensive or collision insurance.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to an insurance professional who told us it's something you should consider talking to your insurance agent about.

They say some companies automatically come with it; while others will have to add additional coverage.

“It usually doesn't affect you when it comes to claim small like that,” explained Joe Davila, with State Farm Insurance. “It doesn't count against you, just a cosmetic thing to do to make sure that it doesn't get worse for that windshield so the company doesn't have to replace it, and therefore they offer that type of coverage."

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