“It’s just a little fender bender. No big deal”. But are you sure about that? It’s certainly true that today’s automobiles have been designed to be safer than ever in protecting human occupants. But those injuries that a car suffers after a collision take their toll on an automobile, even if they seem minor. Just as human beings can suffer major internal injuries after that slight mishap, your car might be more badly “hurt” after that encounter with the telephone pole than outward appearances might indicate.
Given how quickly auto value depreciates, and the hassles involved in getting vehicles repaired through insurance regardless of who’s at fault, many drivers live with dings, dents, and misaligned fenders as badges of the road wars. But sometimes a ding is just a ding, and sometimes it’s a warning that something vital and expensive is about to die where it can’t be seen. So how do you know when it’s time to grit your teeth and head for the auto body shop?
All-wheel drive vehicles come in very handy in long Canadian winters, but they have a unique construct that can make them vulnerable to serious damage from rear-end collisions. All-wheel technology causes this type of car to have a rear axle and drive shaft which can be pushed into the vehicle’s transmission even during a fairly slow motion rear end collision. This impact can cause the transmission to slip. This type of collision can also cause vehicle frame damage. Frame damage is something that can’t be ever be made as good as new by auto shops, and while that little bend may not seem like a big deal, it can adversely affect everything from airbag deployment to the car’s ability to absorb impact in a more serious accident.
And that pothole that you bounced in and out of with no seeming ill effect beyond a jounce? It could have caused tire and wheel rim damage, wearing of shocks and struts, suspension system damage, steering system misalignment, and exhaust system and engine damage. Pretty impressive for an encounter with a little hole!
So bottom line, all car accidents that result in more than paint scratches should be taken seriously enough to warrant an examination by a qualified mechanic. Yes, it’s a hassle, but given the life and death stakes gamble taken every time one operates a vehicle, it’s a hassle well worth taking, and can help extend the life of vehicles and people.