Weather-Related Wrecks Cost Drivers

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Icy roads are being blamed for more than forty car crashes over the weekend. While getting into a wreck can be a scary and potentially life-threatening experience, it can also have serious consequences for one's wallet. 

Many drivers in Northwest Arkansas are finding out just how costly weather-related wrecks can be. 

"Anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 just depends on the severity of the hit," said Dustin Lovell, an estimator with Quality Collision Repair in Fayetteville. 

"If you cause the accident, you slide into them because you couldn't stop, it's still an accident and can still be counted as an at-fault accident on your record," said insurance agent Brant Barnes. 

Barnes says it's important to know what exactly your policy covers before driving in bad weather. 

"If you don't have full coverage or what we consider collision or comprehensive you could be looking at replacing a car because you don't have the coverage on your vehicle itself," Barnes explained. 

"Definitely more accidents during any kind of weather, whether it be rain, especially during ice and snow," Lovell said. 

Lovell says his shop sees all types of damage from weather-related accidents. 

"They can spin out, run off the road, damage the suspension, just about anywhere on the vehicle," Lovell explained. 

But the upfront cost of a repair isn't the only thing drivers have to worry about. Barnes says one's insurance rates could go up significantly. 

"You could see an increase, 15, 20 percent, it could be even more," Barnes explained. 

When roads are icy, drivers may have to shell out cash even if they aren't in a collision. 

"If it ends up in a ravine or down in a ditch you might end up with four or five hundred dollar tow bill so there are some costs like that that can get really expensive," Barnes said. 

Barnes says one of the most important things drivers should do if they are involved in an accident this winter is to call the police and get an accident report for the insurance company. 

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