Why Do Modern Cars Seem to Fall Apart at the Slightest Collision?

Posted on: 7 September 2018

If you've been involved in a car accident that, at the time, seemed to be relatively minor, you may have been horrified when you jumped out to survey the damage. Pieces were hanging off everywhere while certain panels seemed to be bent at hideous angles, and you simply couldn't believe how this type of damage had incurred. What can you do in a situation like this?

Designed to Crumple

The good news is that it may look far worse than it actually is. This is because engineers need to work closely with government regulators these days to come up with a design that is "pedestrian friendly." Certain panels on the car have to be designed in such a way that they will crumple and give, rather than transferring the energy to the unfortunate human being.

While this may allow the individual to walk away scot-free in a very minor accident, it can present the owner of the vehicle with additional headaches should they crash into another solid object, such as a car. The crumple effect can then be exacerbated with the type of damage that you can see.

On the Surface

Many of these panels are nevertheless superficial to an extent and are there to help complete the vehicle, make it as streamlined as possible and house other components. They are often made of very lightweight materials that are more for show than protection, and these particular parts can be replaced quite easily.

Looking Beneath

You need to be concerned about the subframe of the vehicle in an accident, as this is the area that provides stability and will definitely affect how the vehicle handles driving in the future.

Jigging the Car

When you take the car into a vehicle body shop, such as Dandy Smash Repairs, they will first of all remove all the peripheral damage and then place it onto a special "jigging" machine. They can use laser attachments and will refer to manufacturer information to see how much actual damage has been caused.

If the results are not too bad, then they can attach the subframe members to powerful presses and pulleys that will straighten everything back to its normal position. Sometimes, they may have to cut and shape a few areas and weld some pieces back into place, but ordinarily, everything can be rectified.

Repairable or Not?

Of course, in some situations, a subframe could be bent so much out of shape that it will not be possible to fix it without causing ongoing handling or distortion issues. In this case, an insurance company will typically classify the vehicle as a total loss. However, as your accident seems to be fairly minor, then you should be able to get an expert to fix it for you.