How Frames React In Collisions
Hidden frame damage can compromise your vehicle safety even in a minor rear-end collision by changing your car’s alignment, crumple zones or air bag deployment.
When your car is in a collision, its frame can become damaged in two ways.
Direct Damage: First, the accident can result in direct damage to the frame, which appears at the location of impact. For instance, as you might expect in a rear-end collision, the rearmost sections of your vehicle frame may be damaged.
Indirect Damage: But, just as importantly, the very same accident can result in what is called indirect damage to the frame and body, which appears away from the area of impact. Think of indirect damage as the accident’s “ripple effect” through your vehicle.
The Ripple Effect
Since much of this “ripple effect” damage happens far from the point of the collision impact, a vehicle, that to the naked eye appears to be repaired fully, can still have a significantly compromised frame structure that can endanger vehicle occupants in future accidents.
The surest way to assess the condition of a frame’s indirect damage, is to have the frame inspected by a body shop that uses computerized laser measuring systems.