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Tuesday, 20 November 2018 22:25

Every Day, a Car Hits a Deer in WI; 2nd Week of Nov. Among Most Dangerous on WI Roads

Written by Joe Taschler, Paul Gores and Andrew Mollica, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Todd Gillette, owner of Gillette’s Collision Center in Waukesha, works on a repair estimate for a 2008 Chevy Tahoe. The SUV recently collided with a a white-tailed buck deer. The SUV's owner, Ryan Hunkins of Mukwonago, said his wife was driving when the buck jumped over a median barrier on I-43 and was struck by the SUV in midair. Todd Gillette, owner of Gillette’s Collision Center in Waukesha, works on a repair estimate for a 2008 Chevy Tahoe. The SUV recently collided with a a white-tailed buck deer. The SUV's owner, Ryan Hunkins of Mukwonago, said his wife was driving when the buck jumped over a median barrier on I-43 and was struck by the SUV in midair. Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Index

 

Madison-based American Family Insurance, which insures more passenger cars than any other company in Wisconsin, said it handled 9,046 deer-related vehicle claims in 2017, with an average payment of $3,362. That’s 6 percent more than the $3,175 average in 2016 and 13 percent higher than the $2,968 average five years ago.

 

New research by AAA – The Auto Club Group showed that advanced systems such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning can cost twice as much to repair following a collision of any type because of expensive sensors and their calibration requirements.

 

“If that gets misaligned or damaged, you’re looking at more shop time, more repair time on those types of vehicles,” said LeRoy Hamilton Jr., a damage appraiser for Sheboygan-based Acuity Insurance.

 

In addition, many typical repairs require original equipment manufacturer parts instead of aftermarket parts, which can add to the cost.

 

“Whenever there are cameras or sensors involved, it’s got to be OEM (original equipment manufacturer) strictly,” said Phil Gillingham, director at Ball Body Shop in Middleton, a division of Smart Motors.

 

While higher-tech equipment has been available on luxury cars for a while, more regular cars now feature it.

 

“It’s only the past two or three years that more safety technology is standard equipment,” Gillingham said.

 

AAA’s research, which is national, illustrated some of the costs---beyond the normal body work---that technology damage can add to auto collision repairs:

 

• Front radar sensors used with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems: $900 to $1,300.

 

• Rear radar sensors used with blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems: $850 to $2,050

 

• Front camera sensors used with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping systems (not including the cost of a replacement windshield): $850 to $1,900

 

• Front, side mirror or rear camera sensors used with around-view systems: $500 to $1,100

 

• Front or rear ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems: $500 to $1,300.

 

Even the humble headlight has, in some cases, become very expensive to repair, said Todd Gillette, owner of Gillette's Collision Center in Waukesha.

 

"Some self-leveling headlights can be $1,500 really easily," Gillette said.


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