Is My Car Safe to Drive After an Accident?

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From minor scrapes to major collisions, one of the first concerns after an accident is whether a crashed vehicle is safe to drive. For over three decades, Scott’s Coach Works has been providing the most reliable collision repair services for luxury vehicle owners throughout the Scottsdale and Phoenix area.


Having seen and repaired numerous post-accident damaged vehicles, we can safely say that the latest advances in collision repair have tremendously increased the chances of restoring a crashed vehicle close to its original condition. However, a few important considerations are involved in determining whether a vehicle is safe to use after an accident.


Signs Your Vehicle May not Be Safe to Drive

Auto collisions’ actual severity is notoriously hard to gauge without specialized equipment. If there’s any question about a crashed vehicle’s drivability (as there often is), your best bet is to have it professionally towed. Just be sure to use a reputable tow company, preferably one that takes added precautions to protect high-end vehicles, damaged or not.


Unsafe driving conditions are almost guaranteed if you see any signs of the following:

  • Severely broken glass or deployed airbags
  • Leaking fluids of any kind
  • Noxious fumes or smells – a possible indication of combustion or asphyxiation risks
  • Indications of a bent/broken chassis or axle
  • Anything obscuring your vision (e.g., a bent hood or major windshield cracks)
  • Missing or inoperable mirrors
  • Abnormal electrical system operation
  • Loss of power steering and other mechanically assisted functions
  • Odd noises, especially from the wheels, brakes, engine, or transmission


Steps to Take Before Driving Your Vehicle Again

If you’re reasonably sure a noise is exhaust-related, it’s possible you can drive a damaged vehicle safely, assuming that the exhaust is not sitting on something plastic, as it would melt from the heat of the exhaust. Yet, again, if someone feels unsafe, or unsure, the best bet would be to have it towed to the shop of their choice.


Often, a first responder can tell you from experience if a crashed vehicle is unsafe to drive – but they’re usually not at liberty to verify if it is safe. They may, however, instruct you to move the vehicle , when possible, to a safer location. In that case, you’re better off moving it onto nearby private property with public access, like a store parking lot (with plenty of space). Before doing so, however, make sure the crash site is clear of sharp debris.


The Importance of Auto Body Repair After an Accident

Once verifying the vehicle is mechanically sound enough to drive, the next important step is to receive a thorough auto body assessment. Collision repair is essential to restore a vehicle’s cosmetic condition and ensure it’s safe to use over the long term. For example, even a passing mechanical inspection can’t always confirm whether the chassis is straight.


At Scott’s Coach Works, our industry-leading collision repair specialists come heavily certified and fully equipped with the latest advances in collision repair solutions. We also provide swift turnarounds, thanks to our massive shop space and the latest time-saving collision repair tools and techniques.


Scott’s Coach Works: Your Trusted Auto Body Repair Service

From the initial assessment and insurance support to complete body repairs, paint matching, and final details, Scott’s Coach Works specializes in meeting even the most granular OEM specifications for BMW, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Infinity, and many other luxury autos.

If you’ve recently sustained a crash in the greater Phoenix/West Valley area, contact us to book a thorough assessment for our expert collision repair services. After restoring your damaged vehicle to its former glory, you’ll be well on your way to clearer roads.


Image Credit Shutterstock/Title Jirayu


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4620 North 7th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85013

Office: 602.277.8254


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Monday - Friday: 7:30am to 5:30pm

Saturday: 8:30am to 12:00pm

Sunday: Closed

From our professional office staff to our experienced technicians, you’ll feel confident that you’ve chosen Scott’s Coach Works. Come see for yourself, we’re definitely not your typical body shop!