Big Business for Local Body Shops - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Big Business for Local Body Shops

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The active winter weather isn't going anywhere, and with more ice and snow comes more dangerous driving conditions. That's keeping local collision repair centers very busy these days.

"Everybody's been working harder every day because of all of the cars that are in here right now," said David Vickroy, general manager at the Collision Repair Center in East Moline.

"We took a head count ten days ago and we had 55 cars on the lot," he said, adding that the business usually handles 25 to 30 cars in an average week.

All of the extra cars are in the shop because of winter-weather related crashes.

"I'm seeing a lot of big hits, suspensions being knocked off, hitting the curbs," Vickroy said.

The boost in customers is a big turn around, after the mild weather the last few winters made for some pretty slow business.

This winter, the cars keep coming in, one after another after another.

"People don't even stop for an estimate, they just drop the car off and say 'I'll have my insurance company contact you, let's get it fixed'," Vickroy explained.

Kertesha Riley, a Davenport resident who crashed her car at the beginning of the month, says it took four days for the insurance company to be able to come check out her car.

"I talked to my adjuster and he was saying he had 25 to do that week alone, so it was pretty backed up," she said.

Riley is driving a rental car now because her car was totaled when she lost control on the I-280 bridge when the roads were slick.

"The back of my car hit the guard rail first, and then I swerved back into traffic, and then I hit the front of my car on the guardrail," she recalled.

"Even the tow truck guy, he had said he had responded to about ten before me and still had six more after," she added, saying she was not surprised by the number of car crashes that day considering the road conditions.

With so many cars to take care of, the pros have to prioritize, to try to make sure as many people as possible are able to get around.

"The people who are driving around there with a bent fender or a dent in their door, we hope that they understand that the people without a car come first," Vickroy said.

In the meantime, as the winter weather continues and business continues to boom, all customers are asked to be patient.

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