FWIW, I saw Snorman's pcs. My car has no damage at all like that in 2900 miles of AK roads. So all of that gravel you see from my car got there without any damage to my paint. Not sure what damaged his car, but I would hazard a guess that we're dealing with two different issues...
Yeah, I thought it kinda strange, too. If it's like that on the rocker panels, one wonders what the rest of the car looks like on close inspection. And one wonders what caused it.
I still would like to get some added protection for the paint, though, considering the cost of the car.
I tend to digress, but at my job in my company vehicle (currently, a 2010 Dodge Caravan), I do a lot of highway driving here in New Mexico, about 36,000 miles a year. I tend to go through at least one windshield a year. I don't tailgate the gravel trucks; I don't tailgate anyone, but the flying rocks do seem to find me. Case in point: I was driving to the airport in Durango, Colorado, to pick up a director of sales for an important meeting. In the passenger seat, I had the vice president of my company. It's a two-lane road to the airport. I wasn't doing anything wrong, just driving normal, when an 18-wheel gravel truck in the oncoming lane threw up a golf-ball size rock into my windshield as we passed. BAM! Scared the hell out both of us!
The point is, well, I don't know what the hell the point is. . . . Okay, windshields are replaceable. Factory paint jobs? Not so much, but it might be a good investment to do what one can to protect them. The fact that stuff happens that is completely out of our control -- and what can we do to prevent it? That's a question, to quote Dear Leader, that is "Above my pay grade."