Recently the area in which I reside had experienced this seasons first significant snowfall. Shoveled a lot more of it than I cared to as well. With a significant amount of snowfall comes the bad driving conditions because even when at full turn out levels the state/county/city plow trucks wont be able to keep up. Inevitably, this will result in accidents because there’s always the guy who has to be on the road and in a hurry. As my paint and body guy says, “winter will always keep me in business.”
As I drive from point A to B now I will see at least one person driving around with some form of damage. I understand that the body garage is backed up with work or more likely you have to wait for the part(s) to show up. I get it, I’ve been there. What I don’t get though, is why anyone would think that driving around with a bumper or quarter panel barely hanging on is a good idea. When my truck was damaged and I had to wait a couple of days for replacement pieces to show up I removed part of the front end. Let me explain why.
Vehicle manufacturers go through extensive research in order to develop aerodynamics into their products. Once you compromise the outline or contour of the vehicle you sacrifice that aerodynamic flow and as a result the performance of the vehicle as well. Removing the damaged part will help restore some of that aerodynamic flow. Leaving the damaged part on the vehicle to potentially flap around while you drive is as good as having up to 20% of your breaks applied while driving. I could pontificate further about the wear and tear that is being exacted on your vehicle as a result of this, but I have other points to make.
Let’s meow examine this from a safety stand point. The DOT of the state in which I currently reside says that the damaged piece only has to be secured to the vehicle. It does not define by the manner in which it has to be secured. I have seen everything from tie downs, zip ties, duct tape, come-alongs, and bungee cords being used to secure damaged pieces. This is a bunch of BS. Most of the time the damaged piece is improperly “secured” or the means by which it is being held quickly breaks itself and the driver of said vehicle is either igornant of the danger the are now to other motorists or just don’t give a damn.
Honestly I could care less if you want to screw up the performance of your own vehicle. That’s on you. Where I do take umbrage is when people drive around with something that equates to a drag chute barely hanging onto the vehicle. There is now the possibility that it could break off and at the minimum cause damage to my vehicle, but also cause an accident and injury to myself, any passenger I may have with me, and other motorists and their passengers as well. What I would like to see happen more often is police officers pulling these shmucks over and issuing them a safety violation similar to how they do to people who ignore a burnt out headlight.