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Auto body shops full of wrecked, totaled cars following snowstorm

Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 15, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, Utah State troopers handled at least 158 crashes statewide and tallied over 500 vehicles that slid off the road or needed an assist.

For some of those crashed cars, the result is a total loss to the driver. At Unique Auto Body in South Jordan there are 130 parking spots, and their lot is completely full.

“Based off my commute this morning, I know, over the next few days, we’re gonna be up about 25% in workload just with the number of cars on the side of the road this morning,” said Thomas Kirkpatrick, Production Manager at Unique Auto Body.

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Thomas Kirkpatrick, a production manager with Unique Auto Body says a lot of these repairs will be delayed due to a backlog of parts across the industry.

“There’s cars that will be waiting here 3-4 months just waiting on parts from the manufacturer. Right now, in the industry, there’s more work than the typical year anyways," he said. "I think coming out of COVID, there’s a lot of people that maybe opted not to repair during the harder times of covid and now they’re all opting into repair.”

He says they get a lot of fender benders, but also bigger hits.

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“People who can’t stop and they hit somebody else or people that can’t stop and they end up hitting a standing object, whether it’s a curb, or a fire hydrant or a light post,” said Thomas Kirkpatrick.

Thomas says go slow, take your time, because if you do wreck, you could be waiting a long time to get your car back.

UDOT advises that if you can work from home during snow conditions, try to. If not, they advise you plan your trip, including either leaving early to allow yourself more time or later to allow the plows more time to clear the roads.