December 2023 Collision Corner

Dec 1, 2023 | Dateline

Although the percentage of uninsured motorists nationally had been declining pre-pandemic, it jumped in 2020 and has remained elevated, according to a report from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). Given that insured vehicles are more likely to be repaired after an accident, this isn’t good news for body shops. In 2019, about 11.15% of U.S. drivers were uninsured, the IRC estimates, down from 11.6% in 2017. But it jumped to 13.9% with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, rose to 14.2% the next year before moderating slightly (to 14%) last year. While 1 in 7 drivers nationally is uninsured, the percentage varies widely state to state, ranging from a low of 5.9% in Wyoming (and 6.2% in Idaho and Maine) to 20.9% in Tennessee, 22.2% in Mississippi and 24.9% in New Mexico.

Ford Motor Co. has recently filed a patent for a bumper-mounted inflatable device aimed at protecting civilians from potential vehicle collisions. According to the patent, the bumper-mounted inflatable device is intended to prevent pedestrian collision fatalities by adding two inflatable devices into the front bumper, one that would deploy upward and another that would deploy downward. Using these two airbags, the patent indicates that a pedestrian would be sandwiched and protected from blunt impacts as well as from being pulled underneath the vehicle. This invention would exist in accordance with regulations in Europe and Japan revolving around leg-injury criteria for pedestrian protection. As with all patents, there is no guarantee that Ford’s new invention will make it into future vehicles. However, the device is in line with other Ford ideas developed in the past such as moveable roof-supported airbag systems and seat airbag systems.

This week Crash Champions announced their acquisition of Queen City Auto Rebuild in Redmond, Washington, which has “earned a reputation as a leading premium and luxury certified collision repair operator serving the Pacific Northwest,” according to a news release. Crash Champions officially finalized the acquisition on Friday, Nov. 10.