“I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I hit a light post in the grocery store parking lot,” Millie said. “I was backing up into a spot, and just wasn’t paying as much attention as I could have been. My bumper was a little crunched up, but the light post looked fine, so I just drove it home.”
It was during this short journey that the Southeastern MA mother of three started experiencing difficulty driving her car. “The car just wasn’t responding properly when I was steering. It felt like it was fighting me, wanting to go in another direction.” After a short distance, Millie also began to notice a strange smell. “I don’t know how to explain it, but something smelled hot. Not in a good way.”
When Millie arrived home, her spouse quickly became aware of the state of the car. “My husband knew right away there was something wrong with the brakes,” Millie said. “He said there was no way I should have driven the car home. I don’t know how I was supposed to know that – the damage really did seem quite minor.”
How to Tell if Your Car is Safe to Drive After an Accident
We operate a collision repair shop in Southeastern MA, and one thing we can tell you with absolute confidence is that it’s impossible to tell if a car is safe to drive after an accident without taking a thorough look at what happened to the entirety of the vehicle.
In Millie’s case, what appeared to her to be cosmetic damage actually involved damage to the car’s brakes and wheel. Cars with drive and parking assist technology have sensors in the bumpers that can be damaged during even relatively minor, slow-speed accidents. Vehicles can suffer many kinds of damage during an accident that’s not immediately apparent to the casual observer.
There are two ways to find out the extent of damage to your vehicle after an accident. One is high risk, and the other is safe. The high risk option is to keep driving the car until the damage makes it impossible not to – and just hope you don’t discover this while driving at high speeds or in a situation where your vehicle falling apart could hurt another person.
The low risk option is to have your local collision repair shop perform a thorough safety inspection. They will look over your entire vehicle to assess the full scope of the damage and determine whether or not the car can be safely driven at this time. If repairs are necessary, you’ll get a detailed list of recommended fixes. Minor accidents can cause significant hidden damage. Get things checked out and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re safe.