After an Accident: When a Customer Should Have Their Vehicle Towed to the Collision Estimator
September 22, 2017
Experienced collision estimators know how overwhelming an accident can be for customers. Dealing with insurance companies, determining the extent of the damage, and managing personal injury can make the experience stressful and confusing. In addition, many drivers don’t know exactly what to do after they have been in an accident. Questions like, “what information is needed from the other driver?” and “who should be called?” are just two examples of questions likely to run through a car owner’s mind after an accident. Another important question that is critical for safety after an accident is whether or not a tow truck is needed.
If you’re considering becoming a collision estimator, read on to learn when your customers’ cars should be towed after an accident, so you can help offer useful advice and improve the customer experience at your shop.
Collision Estimators Should Advise Their Clients that Exterior Damage May Call for a Tow Truck
One of the first considerations your customers should make after an accident is assessing the visible physical damage of the vehicle. If the vehicle only has minor damage, such as a small dent in the body of the vehicle, scratched paint, or damage that doesn’t look like it could get worse from being driven, it may be safe to drive home or to the shop.
However, if parts are hanging off the vehicle, there are large dents in a door that could cause it to be unable to open, or other significant damage has taken place, the vehicle is too dangerous to be driven, and a tow truck should be called. It’s always best to remind your customers that for absolute peace of mind, they should have their vehicle towed.
Collision Estimators Should Remind Clients to Check for Leaks or Smoke
Another sure-fire sign that a car needs to be towed after an accident is if it’s leaking fluids or smoking. If the vehicle is smoking, it could be at risk of catching fire if driven, so it needs to be transported on a tow truck. In addition, leaking fluids can not only be a fire hazard, but they can also make the road the car is being driven on slippery, dangerous, and unclean. Therefore, if after auto body estimator training you have a customer calling and asking what to do after an accident, cautiously advise them to get their car towed if it’s leaking or smoking.
Drivers Should Consider Invisible Structural Damage Below the Surface
As any collision estimator will know all too well, after a car accident not all damage may be visible. Even if the damage to the exterior of the vehicle appears to be minimal, the structure of the vehicle could have suffered damage.
While it’s nearly impossible for an untrained individual to tell if a vehicle suffered structural damage during an accident, you can advise them to consider several factors. The speed of the vehicles during the accident can help determine the extent of possible damage. The faster the speed, the more likely it is structural damage occurred. In addition, the type of vehicles involved in the accident may also play a factor. If your customer was in a small car and had a collision with a larger and heavier vehicle, they are more likely to be worse off in the accident and suffer structural damage, which could mean that their car needs to be towed.
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