Western News

1HomePageMap small w 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, NevadaOregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming

The number of people in California hit by cars jumps 25% on Halloween versus the rest of October according to Allstate Insurance Company. The insurer recently looked at its California auto insurance claims involving pedestrians over the past three years and found the dramatic jump in October accidents at trick-or-treat time.

"Because this Halloween falls on a weekend, there may be even more kids and cars on the road late at night, potentially creating a dangerous situation," says Brook Daly, exclusive agent for Allstate in San Diego. "Whether driving or walking with kids during trick-or-treating, it's important to remain alert."


Autobody News recently reported on Dave Jones' run for CA insurance commissioner, saying that the CDI directly influences about 10% of the state's economy. That number is underscored by the number of insurance companies, about 1500, doing business in the state. It also estimated the number of insurance workers at 300,000. Now we can confirm that estimate.

About one-in-10 U.S. insurance professionals work in California, the most of any state, according to a new report.

Property-casualty insurers provided 297,431 California jobs in 2008, or more than 10% of the nation’s insurance workforce. California insurance jobs accounted for $20.7 billion in compensation, according to a new Insurance Information Institute report.

Ron’s Casino Night, a fundraising event for industry veteran Ron Guilliams, went off without a hitch on September 20. There were 100 in attendance including body shop owners, vendors, insurers and automotive dealerships at the Mozambique Restaurant in Laguna Beach to support one of their own.

Insurance.com ranked the top 20 biggest cities according to drunk driving violators. The large cities with the most drunk driving offenders are, in order: San Diego, CA; San Jose, CA; Charlotte, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, IN; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Austin, TX; Jacksonville, FL; San Antonio, TX; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Memphis, TN; Philadelphia, PA; New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI.

According to Insurance.com data, San Diego has the largest percentage of drivers with alcohol-related driving convictions among the largest cities in the country. San Jose comes in at No. 2, followed by several other California cities in the top ten.

I-CAR is undergoing some major changes. The most significant part involves a new professional development program and a re-worked and updated curriculum (see related story this issue). According to Chuck Sulkala, a 35-year industry veteran, I-CAR Vice-Chairman and the President of the National Auto Body Association (NABC), I-CAR is entering a new era.

To view a PDF of this article please CLICK HERE.

Sulkala was the keynote speaker at a meeting held by the CAA East Bay Chapter in September.

I-CAR is changing its curriculum to contain classes that are more practical and role-based. Sulkala explained some of the changes to the 60 CAA members and guests in attendance.

Doubting that a proposed total ban on cellphone use behind the wheel could be enforced, the nation’s highway safety officials September 26 declined to endorse a prohibition according to reports made by the Washington Post.

The Governors Highway Safety Association set aside a California proposal that the group press for state legislatures to consider a complete ban.

“We don’t want this to become like the speeding issue, which we’ve already lost. Everybody speeds,” Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the GHSA, said from the group’s annual meeting in Kansas City, MO. “They haven’t shown that the laws we already have,” such as requiring the use of hands-free devices or banning texting while driving, “are very effective.”