Bad roads means big business for local auto body shops

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(KTVI)-- Ron Rose knows how to detach a front end faster than most people.

"It just snaps on here," says auto body manager Ron Rose.  "Couple of plastic push in clips and it just covers up the whole front end."

It's been a bumper crop of car repairs for auto body shops this winter.

At Reuther Auto Body in Westport, vehicles have been showing up day and night.

"Started up here on the fender and then knocked the mirror in and dented in both doors and then went on its way," says Rose.

Collision repair has become computerized, meaning bumpers and front ends can be fixed faster than ever before.

Rose says this week's bitter cold means bumpers are brittle and can easily break.

"I see a lot of cars pull up on a snow bank with a car that sits low and the bumpers crack from that, and they have to be replaced," says Rose.

"Just from backing into a snow bank?" asks Patrick Clark.

"Mmm hmm, yes," says Rose.

But just because a car sits lower to the ground doesn't mean that an SUV might be better for snowy road conditions.

"I see four wheel drives," says Rose.  "They go better than the standard car but they don't stop any better.  They wreck just as much."

Wrecks have been racking up long before the snow hit.

This past fall, when the rains first came, so did slick spots and a lot of fender benders.

"That came right off the deer season which was good for us," says Rose.  "We had a lot of cars come in from hitting deer or deer hitting them so it's been good."

Business will continue to be good for auto body shops from fender benders on snowy streets through April.

That's when Ron Rose will be busy, not with bumpers, but hail damaged hoods.

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