On my return trip from Las Vegas, I encountered significant 35 - 40 mph headwinds that kicked up a lot of desert sand. It wasn't avoidable either and it looked like I was driving through sandstorms. While most of the car is covered in paint protection film for these kinds of situations, the windshield is completely exposed to the elements.
I ended up driving through several of these clouds of micro-rocks which pitted the 3-year old glass. It was emotionally painful knowing I had to take this head-on:
(Above screenshot from Mad Max Fury Road is a bit exaggerated from reality, although it felt that way at the time.)
In some cases the pitting is not too noticeable while driving through town, but whenever there's light striking the windshield at the right angle (typically during sunset) it looks like I've just engaged the hyperdrive and stars are about to fly past by me. In any case, this raises safety concerns.
Most of the windshield was pitted except the very bottom protected by the hood. The difference is clearly visible:
I was due for my third annual maintenance so I got a change-out done at the same time. It's the most expensive windshield I've ever had replaced at a total cost of $1,248.85 including parts, labor, and taxes. On the upside, it almost feels like I have a new car again. On the downside, I went out-of-pocket for it. Not in the mood to get the insurance company involved right now.
Sometimes life happens and you just have to bite the bullet.