It's not my fault - I think Michigan is to blame for my broken windshield(s).

Now hear me out.

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I've been driving legally for decades at this point. Even spent a couple years as a professional over-the-road truck driver. Best guess? I've probably driven at least a million miles - no exaggeration.

All that time behind the wheel, and never so much as a chip or crack in a windshield.

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That is, until I moved back to Michigan in 2022.

Since then it's happened no less than four times. I think I've finally figured out why.

Why I Believe My Cracked Windshield Is Michigan's Fault

Before US127 in Lansing became a construction nightmare, it used to be part of my daily commute for about five miles.

On the way to work one morning along 127 just a few weeks after moving to Lansing, a rock popped up and chipped my windshield. Thankfully my auto insurance offers windshield replacement without a deductible, so I got it taken care of pretty quickly.

Cracked windshield
Cracked windshield. Not mine. Photo via Canva
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I wasn't prepared for a encore performance just three months later. Same road, same situation. BAM! Another chipped windshield. Aggravated, I got it fixed again.

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I kid you not. Mere weeks after that, I'm on southbound 127 between Trowbridge Road and the Jolly/Dunckel Road exit in Lansing, and yet another rock popped up from the road and sent a crack across this latest windshield I'd only had for two months.

I was livid. My driving habits were no different, but my results sure were. (It happened yet again I-96 near Portland, Michigan, a couple months after that third incident on US127.)

But get this - I've now gone six months with the same windshield again, and I believe I know why.

'Authorized Vehicles Only' Is the Bane of My Existence

Prior to US127 in Lansing becoming the afore-mentioned construction nightmare, there were a handful of gravel crossovers connecting the northbound and southbound lanes. These turnarounds are marked "Authorized Vehicles Only", and are meant primarily for emergency vehicles - although some impatient motorists will use them to illegally reverse direction anyway.

US 127 in Lansing
A gravel crossover on US127 in Lansing, prior to Construction-Palooza. Photo via YouTube (Scottman895 Travel)
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Now that construction has temporarily eliminated those crossovers - guess what? I'm not getting broken windshields anymore!

Could it be that MDOT was the cause of those rocks in the road in the first place? Gravel gets dragged onto the main travel lanes by those using the crossovers, then the rocks get spun up into drivers' windshields?

I can tell you this - having driven in several other states, I can vouch that many other states pave their crossovers. Does that potentially lead to increased illegal use of them? Perhaps. Does it lead to fewer broken windshields? Based on the fact that I've driven as much as I have and never encountered so many problems as I have on the highway in Michigan, I'd take that bet.

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Gallery Credit: jrwitl

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