Beware the dangers beneath the surface!

Have you ever uttered the words, “Don’t worry it’s only a scratch” or perhaps, “There doesn’t seem to be any major damage”? If you have then you have probably been involved in a minor accident in your car. If when this happens, and the damage looks minimal, then most people have a natural inclination to ignore it.

The problem with taking this course of action is that the sophistication and complexity of modern vehicles means that sometimes even though damage may only look cosmetic, or no damage can be seen at all, the functionality of certain systems and components on the vehicle may have been compromised. This may impact on driving performance of the car, reduce its level of accident protection and mean that on-board safety systems fail to function properly. It can be a particular problem if your vehicle has the misfortune to be involved in another subsequent accident.

If your car has had any kind of impact during an accident, or has hit a speed hump, kerb or pothole at speed, then it makes sense to have it professionally inspected for potential underlying damage. In particular this can establish if:

  • The vehicle alignment has been affected, which can impact driving performance and affect stability, especially in high spend manoeuvres.
  • If the suspension system of the vehicle has been damaged. This can affect not only how the car handles, but also crucial factors such as braking distance. A single damaged component can also often lead to expensive consequential damage to other parts.
  • Whether the integrity of the protection offered by the bodyshell has been compromised, meaning reduced protection in another impact.
  • If on-board safety systems have been affected and are working safely.

This last point is particularly important as most modern cars now have some form of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems or ADAS. These use highly sensitive sensors to scan the road and provide data to the car’s on-board computer systems. In an impact these sensors may become misaligned and will thus be providing incorrect data to the vehicle safety systems, which may not then react correctly. This is why ADAS sensors need to be recalibrated after an accident, no matter how small, using an advanced diagnostics system.

The simple advice is if in doubt have your vehicle professionally checked by Ashmore Ryder. We can make sure everything is functioning correctly and if it is not our expert team will be happy to put things right.

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