Photos: Giant tumbleweed hits car, damages windshield

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M – New Mexico’s tumbleweed problem is going viral on places like TikTok, but it’s not just homes and buildings dealing with this tumbleweed invasion. 

One driver is now a self-proclaimed “tumbleweed hater” and for a pretty good reason. 

“Mother Nature goes in and throws a lot of stuff at us with the heavy winds basically,” said David McGinnis, with McGinnis Driver Safety Centers.  

McGinnis has been teaching the metro to drive for almost 50 years at the McGinnis Driver Safety Center, and he’s seen it all.

That includes a picture sent by a viewer, showing damage to their windshield — but it wasn’t the typical culprit. 

“Say you’re doing a speed on the freeway going from city to city here in New Mexico. All of a sudden, that big old tumbleweed just blows out,” said McGinnis. 

The viewer said it was a tumbleweed that did the damage. The picture shows the root lodged in the glass.

McGinnis says this is actually pretty common. He says the damage is usually caused by the stems of the tumbleweeds, especially when they’re getting tossed around by high winds. 

So what do you do if you see a massive tumbleweed flying toward you in the car?

“You have to go ahead and try to really have that little thought pattern in your mind about now, if something would happen here. What would I do? Where I go off a cliff, or into a parked car? Or do I have to run over sometimes, maybe an animal and stuff,” McGinnis said. 

He says staying on course and hitting whatever it is can sometimes be safer. You don’t want to drive off a cliff avoiding a skunk in the road, but there are exceptions to this guideline.

“If you see a human being on the road, that’s a different story. That you have got to try to avoid that. As you know, once you hit them, they’re probably going to be killed in a hit your car up against somebody else. Odds are you’ll probably live. So no one’s will be killed,” said McGinnis.  

So the next time you see a tumbleweed blowing in the wind, just know it packs more of a punch than you may think. 

“You have got to go and be prepared for anything and everything that will possibly happen,” McGinnis said. 

KOB 4 reached out to the viewer who sent in those photos, but we have not heard back just yet.