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Winter weather isn't the only thing keeping autobody shops busy this season

 Mechanics work on car at Cache Valley Autocare
Clayre Scott
/
UPR

Mechanics are working hard at Cache Valley Autocare, but manager Spencer Valentine said business isn’t necessarily booming. “We actually sometimes kind of tend to taper down a little bit during the wintertime.”

Valentine said snowy road conditions tend to keep people off the road, and the holiday season keeps them on a budget.

“A lot of people are trying to save their money for end of year stuff or the holidays, Christmas, and kind of reassessing their spending,” Valentine explained.

For Michael Hawks, all it took was one patch of ice before he had to spend his holiday money on car repairs.

“The person in front of me slammed on their brakes,” Hawks said. “I didn't know that it was all happening that quickly … so then I tried to swerve and I slid and hit the corner.”

Though his truck is fixed, Hawks had to spend over $3000 to get it done.

While you might think the weather is solely to blame for winter crashes, Hayden Rottler, general manager at Caliber Collision, said distracted driving is what gets him the most business.

“Cell phones really are what's causing everything,” Rottler said.

Rottler said distracted driving causes car crashes throughout the year … though the severity of the crashes do go up in the winter.

“With all the extra ice and everything, slide outs happen a little bit more, so less braking power,” Rottler said. "So sometimes it will be a little harder of a hit in the winter."

To avoid bringing your vehicle into the shop during the winter, Valentine said it takes some practice.

“There's always things that we can't plan for,” Valentine said. “But if you can control it at all, definitely do some practice. It helps a lot.”

Hawk’s didn’t plan on his crash, and it changed the way he drives.

“I have definitely been going like five under now,” Hawks said with a laugh. “I've been hyperaware of everyone.”

A long time lover of NPR and radio reporting, Clayre Scott joined UPR in August of 2021 as the producer of the weekly podcast UnDisciplined. She began reporting in 2022 and now enjoys telling stories through sound and getting weekly texts from her family after hearing her on the radio. Along with her work at UPR, Clayre is attending Utah State University to get her degree in Broadcast Journalism, with time on the side to study Political Science and Art History.