Tow trucks, auto shops notice more cars being totaled after acci - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Tow trucks, auto shops notice more cars being totaled after accidents

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Snow is something Michiana has always dealt with, and that brings tow trucks and trips to the auto body shop during the winter months. Both tell us this year, they've dealt with more accidents that have left cars totaled.

Rick Hamilton is the manager of Hamilton Towing. He says he's used to picking up a lot of cars that have spun out in these winter conditions. Lately, he's seen more than he can handle. "We have to look at the weather channel daily. This weekend we know we're going to get a lot of snow," says Hamilton.

The snow and icy conditions are keeping Hamilton Towing busy, so busy that they've learned exactly when they'll start getting calls. And cars getting picked up, complete totals.

Hamilton says the amount of airbags in vehicles are one of the culprits for having to total more cars. "People have the side airbags. There's like 12 to 18 standard airbags in a car," he says. "Once they go off, all the panels are destroyed. That's the pricey thing, putting it back together."

Over at Dave's Garage in South Bend, Tom Nufer sees the same thing happening. "The cost of repair is so much higher with the added airbag systems. And insurance companies are more than likely to total the vehicle out," says Nufer.

Nufer says his business won't slow down until drivers get used to driving in winter conditions.

"We are a little bit busier right now with the cold weather," he says. 

The advice from both Nufer and Hamilton - when the snow starts to fly and the roads freeze, slow down.

Tow truck drivers tell us if you get into an accident, stay in your vehicle - if you can - and stay warm. With the freezing conditions, getting in and out of your car will ultimately leave you freezing, too. They also recommend keeping an extra blankets in your car.

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