Even the most careful drivers can end up in a collision, even if it’s not their fault. We all know that fender benders can spell a call to our insurance providers and a trip to a repair shop, but many of us will dismiss small accidents that seem to do no damage.
The problem is, even the smallest of bumps can lead to damage to your vehicle, costing you time and money to repair.
What’s worse, though, is the hidden collision damage that you can’t see. This type of damage might not be immediately obvious, so it is often ignored or not noticed – until it’s too late.
An accident occurring, particularly rear-end collisions, can cause future problems with your vehicle, so it’s important to check your vehicle for all types of damage.
This blog will help you learn the signs of hidden damage if involved in a rear-end accident.
What are rear-end collisions?
These types of accidents occur when the front of one car hits the end of another, which often knocks the front car forward (sometimes into another car). Rear-end collisions happen when the driver is distracted or the front driver suddenly stops, such as in stop-start traffic.
Other causes can include:
- Traffic jams
- Mechanical failure
- Aggressive driving
Luckily, rear-end collisions usually happen at a slow speed, so even if your vehicle is damaged, the driver and any passengers are often less harmed.
The major problem with this type of collision, though, is that even if your vehicle appears to only have minor cosmetic damage, it can cause structural damage that may bring issues in the future.
What kind of damage happens after collisions?
As mentioned, the damage might seem minimal at first glance. You might only see a dented bumper, some minor damage to your paintwork, and some scratches.
However, many of your car’s most valuable assets are located in the rear, and it’s damage to these things that can cause the most problems. Even a slight impact to the back of your car can cause damage.
First of all, if your car is still in a drivable condition after a rear-end collision, you should take your car to be checked out at a reputable auto body shop. Trained mechanics can find and fix all types of hidden and surface damage, getting your vehicle back to normal as soon as possible and avoiding any more expensive problems in the future.
A bump can loosen wires that work your brake lights, battery, and reversing lights. These faulty wires can make you less visible to drivers at night, or prevent following drivers from knowing when you are slowing down and stopping and increasing the chances of another collision.
Damage to the boot or bumper can also be dangerous. It’s difficult to tell at first glance if your boot’s latch mechanism is damaged, but if you drive off with a faulty latch, your boot might pop open and close whilst in motion, or you might not be able to open and close it at all.
What’s more, most car bumpers are made of plastic and can’t fully protect your car from frame damage. Even if the frame is slightly bent, your car’s chance of being able to sustain damage and protect the passengers in potential future accidents is massively reduced.
Your car might also sustain some serious alignment problems even in a minor collision. This is at least easier to spot. If you’re driving along and your car feels as though it’s pulling to one side of the road, you might have some alignment issues. Badly aligned wheels can reduce your fuel economy and can make your tires wear down much faster. Luckily, a repair shop will be able to fix this fairly easily and quickly.
Damage isn’t limited to the car being hit, either. If you’ve driven into the back of someone, you will likely have damage to your front bumper, headlights, frame, and more.
What to do after an accident
If you’ve been in an accident, it can be confusing and stressful. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some simple steps in your mind to guide you through the next steps.
After a bump, you should:
- Take your car to an auto body shop to have it checked for any hidden damage.
- NOT attempt any DIY fixes. Drivers may be tempted to fix minor damages at home to save some cash, but this can be both dangerous and more expensive in the long run than having a professional fix your damage.
- Call your insurance provider.
For more after-accident advice, check out our “what steps should you take after a car accident?” blog.
Trust the professionals
A trained and experienced professional can find any hidden issues following a collision and can fix them properly so you don’t have any future problems.
This will not only help keep you safe as you get back on the road but can also help with insurance claims.
Sometimes, insurance providers only take note of the damage that is immediately visible. Therefore, getting a second opinion from a professional can help identify any hidden damage that should also be noted on the insurance report.
At the end of the day, your safety is the biggest priority. Don’t gamble with your safety – find a trustworthy auto shop that will help you find and fix any hidden damage and answer any questions you may have about the state of your vehicle following a collision.