Inventor says he can prevent flying rocks from breaking windshields

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Hundreds of times every day, someone in Ohio gets a cracked windshield.

Many of the cracks come from bouncing rocks on the roadway.  Last month, we featured Ruth Klein, who noticed a truck traveling on route 104 with rocks bouncing out of the truck.

Ruth began taking pictures and as fate would have it, Ruth’s window was cracked. Neither Ruth or NBC4 was able to get the trucking company to respond.The reason: most people are unaware that if a rock leaves a truck, then bounces on the road, then hits your vehicle, it’s considered a road hazard.  If the rock goes straight from the truck to your vehicle, then the truck operator is responsible.

The reason: most people are unaware that if a rock leaves a truck, then bounces on the road, then hits your vehicle, it’s considered a road hazard.  If the rock goes straight from the truck to your vehicle, then the truck operator is responsible.

The story struck a chord with Todd Poenisch, he had paid the price of broken windshields in the past and thought there must be a solution.

Todd was watching our story about Ruth when it hit him, ‘I really felt for her and I thought, now is the time that I need to move on this thing.”, said Poenisch.  This thing is something Todd calls a ‘truck diaper’.  It’s a simplistic idea that he has been working on for several years. It would prevent rocks from leaving the truck.

It’s made from something that resembles shrink wrap. When it is secured over the load, it holds them in place tightly enough that they won’t bounce out of the truck.

As he works to secure a patent, he says he’s discussed the idea with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

“I spoke with Doug Burk at ODOT and he gave me a warm reception with it and thought it was a good idea,” said Poenisch.

 

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