More Slide-Offs and Accidents from Snow - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

More Slide-Offs and Accidents from Snow

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BILLINGS -

The slick streets are creating problems for drivers, whether it's getting stuck in ditches or getting into accidents.

At more than 90 inches of snow, this is the third snowiest winter so far for Billings. The collisions from slick streets are keeping auto body shops busy.

"As far as winter work, this has been our best winter," said Zack Burns, Maaco Collision and Auto Body Repair manager. "In fact, this is probably the busiest we've been since the tornadoes in '10 and '11."

Burns said he has seen a 30- to 40-percent increase in work in the past two months, which he says is because of the snow.

"Each time it snows, there might be a day or two where it's normal business and then once the weather gets a little better everyone pretty much comes in at once," he said.

With the number of slide-offs, City Towing is busy, too.

"Whatever guys we need, we've got to call guys in," said Dave Albrecht, owner of City Towing. "We try to run two but a lot of times we get these kinds of conditions we've got have six or eight guys out there."

They are often called to jump start or unlock cars, but also to pull cars out of ditches.

"The toughest challenge we have is on the interstate," Albrecht said. "People don't realize how slick it is out there. They come by and we're trying to wench someone out of a ditch and they come by and they hit a cone or a sign and that gets your attention pretty quick."

Burns said the average cost to repair a car that's been hit is between $3,000 and $6,000, but depending on the damage, it can be a lot more.

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