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Westchester Auto Body Shops See Little Bounce In Business During Winter

Harold Howell and Joe Gentile at Charlie's Auto Body Shop in Scarsdale. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
This is one of the cars that went careening off a parkway road as a result of poor road conditions. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
If cars are still able to be driven, most motorists are waiting for the weather to break. Photo Credit: Zak Failla
Some vehicles needed minor work, while others needed more substantive repairs. Photo Credit: Zak Failla

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Although Westchester has become a winter wonderland over the last few weeks, turning roads into ice rinks, auto body shops throughout the county have seen business remain relatively steady.

With the combination of rain, snow and freezing temperatures, road conditions have become an ongoing problem that is plaguing motorists. Despite the hazardous conditions that seemingly sends cars slip sliding through the slush, auto body shops have yet to see a true uptick in business.

“You would think there would be (an increase in business) with this type of weather,” Ed Quintieri said at Fleetwood Collisions in Tuckahoe. "That’s what we hope for. Unless the car can’t be driven, people seem to be waiting until it’s nicer out, that’s when they’ll want to clean it up and get everything nice and fixed.”

Outside of waiting for more pleasant weather, auto body workers also said that people are driving less because of the snow, and if they do leave the house, many use mass transportation or otherwise exercise extreme caution.

“There’s really not a lot going on right now," said Harold Howell, a co-owner of Charlie’s Auto Body Shop in Scarsdale. "No more than usual. Once the weather is nicer and there are more cars on the road, that will of course lead to more accidents.

"Most people just stay in, and the others have four-wheel drive. A lot of the time, the storms are built up so much in the media that it scares people from the roads.”

Mario Suarez, a tow truck driver at Hannigan’s Towing in Port Chester, said that he’s been busy helping stalled and cars that get in minor injuries, but noted that he hasn’t responded to many violent crashes.

“As a whole, it seems like most people are smart enough to avoid the roads when it gets really bad, and when they do go out, you can see how careful they are,” he said. “Often, they just need a minor repair to get back up and going. We end up taking more to mechanics than body shops in this weather.”

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