Winter weather keeps area body shops busy

Thursday, November 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

At least seven traffic deaths are now blamed on icy road conditions around the state, and police say accident reports are reaching into the triple digits. That means triple digit dollars for local body repair shops.

News on Six reporter Heather Brooker has the breakdown of what you'll pay for even the smallest of fender benders. Each dent. Each ding. Each dollop of destruction on your car can really add up. Larry Wilson with Ace Collision Repair says when Mother Nature strikes, his business is booming. "It's a lot busier and it's almost immediate. Cars are being towed in, people are calling it just happens all at once." That's because winter weather driving causes more accidents than any other season.

And that can be a wreck on your pocketbook. "An average rear end crash, something small is probably going to run a couple of thousand dollars.” Specifically, we're talking about $35 an hour for labor, $45 an hour for framework, and $57 an hour for a paint job. Not to mention the cost of the parts themselves. "Lots of times there's body damage, which requires it to be put on a frame machine. The painting, the parts involved it could get into the thousands easily."

Tulsa Police responded to 136 accidents from 6 PM on Tuesday to 3 PM Wednesday. That doesn't include the dozens of accidents they didn't get to because of the police department’s Operations Slick Streets. Wilson says when drivers slip and slide, its good news for him. "Well that's good for me, but not good for the consumer." So the next time your driving in a winter wonderland. Remember who's paying for each ding you drive into.

One other note, if you take your car in for repairs it can take 10 to 30 days to fix it. Wilson says most insurance companies will pay for any collision damages, even if it's a single car accident.