Autobody shops see high demand ahead of busy holiday travel season

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WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The reminder to drive slow and safe in wintery conditions are as important as ever this year, because even a little fender bender may become a big inconvenience to fix.

Local autobody shops are seeing higher demand than usual. 

"Sometimes we get hit with a lot of cars," Benjamin Ventra, a mechanic at CM Best in West Allis, said.

People working in the industry point to a culmination of reasons for the increased demand, including supply chain issues and worker shortages. 

"Mechanics are just, they want more," Ventra said about salary for mechanics. 

As the colder weather sets in, mechanics suspect the waiting lists to become even longer.

"In the winter, anything can happen," Ventra said.

All of this right in time for a busy travel week.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting holiday travel to approach pre-pandemic levels.

AAA expects more than 1 million Wisconsinites to travel Thanksgiving, most of them by car.

"We're expecting to rescue well over 400,000 Americans on the side of the road who are heading out on their holiday trips next week, and it’s a scary situation for anyone to be in," AAA Director of Public Affairs Nick Jarmusz said.

Jarmusz suggested drivers have their cars examined before hitting the road.

"Especially in the wintertime, you want to look at your battery life, as well as your tires to make sure there's proper inflation and enough grip and tread to grip into those icy roads," Jarmusz said.

The most common reasons for roadside assistance are dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts, according to AAA.

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