Monday, February 28, 2011

Texting and Driving - Be Very Aware

New State Farm survey results show that teens do not believe texting and driving is as dangerous as drunken driving, despite academic research that shows it is.

The majority of teens, 55 percent, said drunken driving could be fatal, where as only 36 percent said texting and driving could be fatal, according to the State Farm survey. Of teens that do not text and drive, 73 percent believe that, if they did, they would get into an accident; however, of teens that admit to texting and driving, only 52 percent believe they could get into an accident.

The United Kingdom’s Transport Research Library (TRL) said, in a 2008 study, that reaction time of 17- to 24-year-old drivers was reduced by 35 percent when typing a text message, compared to 12 percent when driving after drinking to the legal limit.

"Some teens still think the consequences of reaching for a cell phone are less severe than reaching for a beer bottle," said Laurette Stiles, vice president of strategic resources at State Farm. "We have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to helping teens understand that texting while driving can be every bit as dangerous as drinking while driving. It's an awareness gap that must be addressed."

The Fun of Fender Benders

Every time I'm in a Walmart parking lot I have several opportunities for a fender bender - or worse. There are so many people swerving wildly around the parking lot looking for who knows what and fewer people who are really doing their best and most aware driving. It's situations like this that make me nervous that I might need to call my auto insurance company or visit a New York Collision repair shop rather than doing the fun things I had planned.

Fortunately, things usually go fine. However, there are many close calls and I think it's important to have a plan in mind in case a car collision really happens. So, what to do? Do you solve the problem with the other party without the police? Should you call the insurance? Will it rack up your premiums? Will the other driver change their story tomorrow?

If your local police force will handle this type of minor accident, then it's best to consultant the police. It's been my experience that police in more rural areas like the rural parts of Westchester County will handle the situation. However, I have lived in urban areas where the police are too busy to deal with fender benders - in this case, it's important to document the situation and exchange contact information. Write the driver's license down and license plate and have a disposable camera on hand to document the damage to both cars.

If you plan to involve your insurance company - you'll need to involve the police most likely.Insurance companies usually require that any and all accidents, regardless of their magnitude, have to be reported and this means that a police officer has to come to the scene of a reported accident and document his or her observations about the accident and the drivers. Even though an insurance company will eventually cover the repair costs and medical claims, sometimes there are other legal issues which could arise from a minor thing such as a fender bender and we'll talk about them later in the article.

If the damage is minimal to both cars and this is a no fault situation, it's probably best to leave the insurance company out of it. For one thing, the deductible might be too high to cover the collision damage. Or, you might increase your premiums. If this is the case, talk to the other driver and agree upon the total cost of damage and what the other person will pay, or if it is your fault, what you will pay.

If the other driver involved in the car collision is combative, you should definitely call the police because this person may change their mind later on and request further damage claims.

In any case, figure out how you're going to handle this type of situation if it arises and keep whatever you need on hand, such as a pencil, paper and camera, if you need it.

Auto Repair Shops

Okay, so the above two things are things to watch out for if you haven't picked an auto collision repair shop. What, you say your vehicle is already at a repair shop that the insurance company referred you to? Don't panic, here are some things that you can do that will help you keep the shop honest:

1. Ask the shop manager to provide you with a copy of all the invoices for parts they had to purchase to fix your car, and then compare the parts list with the cost listed on the insurance company estimate.

2. Ask the shop for a written repair guarantee.

3. Ask the shop if they are a direct repair facility for more than one insurance company (just asking this will make them think twice about cutting a corner at your expense). If they are, ask them for the list.

4. Bluntly ask if they have used new Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts (OEM), used OEM parts, or aftermarket parts.

5. Ask the shop to explain "betterment" to you, just because you are curious. This is just to show them that you are reading up on the repair process.

Bumper Repair

You can say you have had a bad day if you get rear ended, in a car accident, or if you accidentally run or bump into something. However the day you take it to get repaired could be an even worse day. Most times people are discouraged by taking their vehicle to be repaired not only due to the high costs involved, but the fact that they may be out of a vehicle for days or weeks. Finding an honest mechanic can be a challenge as well.

Things to consider: Every 17 seconds a reported rear end collision occurs, and every 8.5 seconds an unreported rear end collision occurs. The most frequent accident on the road is the rear end collision, at almost 29.7%, and 75% of these accidents occur at less than 10 mph. Something else to consider is that 36% of all minor auto body damage is to the front or rear bumper.

More than a third!

One in three people with auto body damage have plastic bumper damage.

So if you unfortunately find yourself in a situation where your bumper needs repair know that you are not alone.

There are some practical solutions for you so, read on about what can be done.

Some mechanics or auto body shops will tell you that your bumper will need to be completely replaced. Well that will involve an average of two days to repair depending on how busy the shop is at that time. Also it will cost you at a minimum 500 dollars and up from there. This is an option for you, however it is not the only or most cost effective option you have.

The fact is that bumpers have changed as does everything else in time. They used to be made of sheet metal, now the metal bumper is covered by a plastic fascia in hopes that minor abrasions might pop out more easily. However the plastic can bend, break or rip.

Beautify Your Car

A car could be a priceless possession for many and any kind of dent or damage to the auto body can take away its overall look. If you have neglected your vehicle care or have been recently involved in an accident, your car needs attention and you may have to get the auto body repaired through auto reconditioning specialists.

A lot of breakthroughs have been happening in the auto body collision repair field, one of the most popular being paintless dent repair. This quick technique involves removing all the minor dents without having to repaint the damaged portion. This is widely used to repair minor body creases, hail damage, minor bumper indentations and door dings. However, if there is paint damage on the vehicle, then this technique may not be suitable.

Today you can quickly have your car repaired of its dents, broken glass, peeled off paint or any other damage caused due to collision. It is important to find a collision repair facility with well qualified and trained technicians who can repair your vehicle and restore it to its original shape and make it looking new.

There may be times when you may not know what to do when repairs are required for your vehicle as a result of which the auto body repair may get neglected and even put off for a long time resulting in more damages leading to more expenses out of your pocket.

Expert Collision Repairs

Say your Mazda car experienced a collision and your Mazda body kits were damaged, what is the remedy that comes to your mind? To look for a collision repair shop, right? But the question is: How do you choose the right collision repair center?

With over 35,000 auto body repair shops all over the United States, choosing the repair shop can make a car owner dizzy.

The Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), Steve Cox, agreed that an insurance company may make some recommendations on the right repair shop but he asserted that the ultimate responsibility in selecting a trustworthy and quality-oriented repair shop is in the hands of the drivers themselves. According to him, choosing the right one is a must in order to achieve the desired results.

With the aim of helping the consumers to better manage the collision repair experience, the CBBB and the National Auto Body Council (NABC) have teamed up. Together, they give tips on how to save money on a replacement rental car and on how to arrange any arguments between the shop and the car owner.

The CBBB and the NABC recommend opting for a trustworthy collision repair shop. According to them, a car owner must check out the shop's qualifications. This can be done through asking about advanced technician training from a national organization. It is also a must to look for a shop committed to customer satisfaction.

According to them, everything must be in a black and white form. This means the transaction must be in written form. The car owner must get a written repair and price estimate of the work to be performed. Before the job begins, explanation of why specific recommendations are necessary to fix the collision damage is also important. They further said warranty is another must.

Meanwhile, when buying a brand new car, it will come with an auto insurance policy. Those small prints in that written policy can make a big difference if you need to have collision repairs made to your car. This is especially important if parts need to be substituted.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making Your Car New Again

No one ever plans on getting into a car accident. It just happens. Afterwards, getting the vehicle repaired is priority. For those who live in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, finding a reliable, affordable and trustworthy auto repair shop is the best plan of action. There are a few places that can accommodate the repairs, and a Gabriel Sports Car auto body shop can get the vehicle back on the road quickly and affordably. These are some of the services they offer.


One of the worst problems a vehicle can have after the accident is a bent frame. Many believe that a car is never the same after the frame is bent. With new technology, however, a Gabriel Sports Car collision repair shop can make it feel like new. Choose a business that uses an efficient pulling system that can handle pulling from 360 degrees and multiple directions all at once. This will help the vehicle look like it used to, before the wreck. It will also improve its drivability and make it safer.

Cosmetic Damage

Bumps and fender benders can make it embarrassing to drive around Hampton Roads. It may not make it impossible to drive the vehicle, but most people would prefer not to do that. Paintless fixes are an option for auto repair in New York. When a new paint job in unavoidable, the consumer should choose a body shop that has state-of-the-art painting facilities and can handle more than one job at a time. This prevents customers from going several days without their vehicles while they are waiting for the paint booth to be available for their vehicle’s needs. A skilled professional in the painting booth can make a vehicle look like new.

Mechanical Problems

Sometimes auto accidents involve more than external damage. Radiators are crushed, exhaust systems are bent and wheels are demolished upon force of impact. Alignment and transmission work are also frequent necessities to have fixed after a car accident. Hoses, brakes and light lenses may also need to be replaced. It is important to have a reliable and experienced professional to fix mechanical problems. It is also more convenient for the customer to have the vehicle completely fixed on both the outside and under the hood, rather than having to go to one place for external collision repair, then a mechanic to make the vehicle run properly.