GRAND CHUTE – The icy and snow covered roads this winter have gotten the best of some drivers. Hundreds of crashes and cars in the ditch already.
Not that anyone wishes for anyone to be in a crash, but business is booming at area body shops.
At Joe Friday’s Collision Center in Grand Chute it’s been a busy winter.
“Bad luck for someone is business for me. So, yeah, I don’t like to rely on other people’s misfortune, but that’s the nature of our business,” Friday explained.
Friday old us he’s been getting at least half a dozen damaged cars per week since the winter weather started.
Other area body shops we spoke with said they’re also doing more business than usual, earlier in the season than usual this year.
It’s no surprise to law enforcement.
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, for example, responded to 60 minor crashes on Wednesday alone, which officials say is highly unusual.
“The amount of cars on the road in the valley is increasing every year. So it’s just a matter of if and when somebody’s going to slide into someone else,” said Friday.
There are a lot of different levels of damage.
“It varies. Some of them are damaged to the point where they’re totaled out. We had a couple of those come in this week. Some are light fender benders, bumpers, some are rear-end hits,” Friday explained.
Friday told us the cost for repairs vary too from 900 to 5,000 dollars depending on the damage. He said the average repair is about $3,000.
According to Friday the most business comes in right after an unexpected snow or ice fall.
“People wake up in the morning not knowing there’s fresh snow on the ground and they didn’t prepare and get up a little earlier. So they’re more rushing to work,” Friday explained.
Friday told us he has enough vehicles to fix to keep him busy through June and he said some car owners with minor damage know there’s a line, so they’re just waiting until spring.