Benefits of Paintless Dent Removal and Repair

There is a significant difference between traditional dent repair and paintless dent removal (PDR).

With traditional dent removal, the paint in the affected area is sanded down; the crunched metal pounded into place, and any areas that aren’t smooth are filled in with putty. After that, the area must be sanded, primed, given a base coat of paint, and then a final coat. It is time consuming and expensive.

Paintless Dent Removal doesn’t mask the damage done to your car, it removes it completely from the back side of the panel. Access behind the damage panel is gained after which pressure is applied to the dented areas while carefully manipulating, massaging, and reforming the metal back to its original, pre-accident state, however if there is damage to the paint on your vehicle, PDR is typically unsuitable. The price for this procedure is considerably lower than traditional dent repair and typically only takes a day to accomplish.

Advantages of Paintless Car Dent Removal

There are several benefits to paintless dental removal including a more original vehicle, better prices, shorter repair time, and environmentally friendly procedures.

Does Your Car Qualify for Paintless Dent Repair?

Your car may qualify for PDR if your dent did not compromise the paint finish of your vehicle. Dents that are on the edges of your vehicle may be difficult to use PDR on as well as chrome or metal bumpers and fuel doors. It’s always best to seek out a local auto body repair shop to get an expert opinion. Contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today to discuss how we can assist with your auto body repairs.

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Car Value Depreciation After An Accident

The value of a car depreciates after an auto accident, but how do insurance companies determine that value? The total depends on the type of car and the accident history of that car. The car’s value can decrease by its diminished value, which is calculated by the insurance company when they send an agent to come and assess the damage.

Diminished Value and the 17c Formula

Diminished value is the monetary difference between what the car was worth before the accident happened and what it is worth after the accident happened. Insurance companies determine the diminished value of a car by using what is called the 17c Formula.

The Formula originated in 2001 in Georgia following a lawsuit that obligated State Farm to pay out more than 25,000 insurance claims. In order to do this efficiently, the 17c Formula was created as a simple way to standardize the calculations across all of the claims. The Formula worked, and now close to all insurance companies use it as the way to determine the value of cars after a wreck.

Is The Formula Accurate?

Some see the Formula as inefficient given that it calculates the loss of value equally among all types of makes and models, meaning a crashed Ferrari is appraised the same way as a crashed Ford Focus. Insurance companies ultimately give less than what they really should with diminished value checks. Often, the total should be in the thousands but motorists receive checks for hundreds. There are several online resources that provide the formula for consumers to calculate their vehicle’s value.

Is There Another Way To Evaluate My Car After An Accident?

Insurance companies may come to you with an extremely low offer, but you can refuse it and hire a private appraiser to come and look at the wrecked car. Once you have that appraisal, you can go back  to the insurance company and counter their original offer.

It’s important to understand your insurance policy and rights before agreeing to the price your insurance company gives you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Staying Safe in the Summer

Warm weather not only invites more people outside, but it invites more people to share the road. Here are some reminders to keep you, your family, and your vehicle safe during these next few months.

WATCH FOR PEDESTRIANS

When it’s warm, there are all kinds of people using the roads: bikers, motorcyclers, walking pedestrians, and more. It’s very important to be mindful of your surroundings, for these individuals are incredibly vulnerable. Unlike you, they do not have the protection of a vehicle. Accidents could quickly escalate to a much worse outcome if you aren’t careful.

Remember:

  • People can from any direction, at any time. Be mindful of your blind spots and react quickly.
  • Be especially careful when driving in neighborhoods or around schools, where children are more likely to be playing in the streets.
  • Don’t expect pedestrians to stop for you. They may be distracted, may be hearing- or sight-impaired, and may not see you coming at all. Always pay mind to them, and allow them to pass.

DON’T LEAVE CHILDREN IN THE CAR

Heatstroke can happen so easily, and often it occurs out of ignorance. Never leave your children and/or pets in a car. It does not matter if the window has been cracked open, and it does not matter if it is only for a few minutes. The impact is harmful regardless.

Vehicles heat up incredibly fast, and deadly levels are quickly easily reached within the few minutes that you are gone. On top of that, the body temperature of children rises faster than that of adults— three to five times faster, to be exact. Keep your kids safe by either taking them with you, or leaving the car running for them.

DON’T FORCE YOURSELF TO KEEP DRIVING

Road trips, or long trips in itself, are tedious. If you feel yourself getting drowsy, forcing yourself to continue driving is the wrong way to go. Other lives are at stake at that point, including your own.

Take breaks at a rest stop to stretch, get some food, and go to the bathroom. Switch drivers. Stop somewhere overnight and sleep for a while, and then go back and hit the road. Driving is not a race. It is all about being safe as you go from place to place.

If you have any questions about car safety or where to bring your car after an accident, come by and talk to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

The Dangers of Summer Driving

Summer is a time for beach days and road trips.  It is also, unfortunately, home to the most common months in which car accidents occur, for both teenagers and adults.  Here’s a look at the most common causes of summer car accidents and what you can do to help prevent them, as well as keep your family safe this summer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), July and August hold more car crashes and vehicular-related deaths than any other months.  Some of the reasons behind this statistic and why summer driving is so dangerous is that there is an increase of travelers on the road, teen motorists, active road construction, impaired driving, and temperature, which can increase the risk of vehicle equipment failure.

The most common summer car accidents include construction zone accidents, loss of control from a tire blowout, and distracted driving accidents.  Construction means disrupted traffic flow, lane closures, and narrow roads equipped with concrete barriers, poor surfaces, and little to no shoulders.  It is vital to stay focused on the road ahead of you and leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you in these zones in order to prevent a rear-end collision.

Loss of control from tire blowout is another common summer car accident.  Old tires, tires with worn thread, and under inflated tires are highly more vulnerable to blowout under the summer heat.  The road temperatures reach a sweltering 140 degrees fahrenheit, and in addition to heat from flexing rubber of under inflated tires can put stress on the tires and belts, and cause a blowout.  Be sure to keep your tires in good condition this summer to prevent an accident, as well as to keep you and fellow drivers out of harm’s way.

Distracted driving accidents are far more likely in the summer, especially with young adults and those of the Generation Z cohort on the roads.  These individuals are known to have a smartphone attached to them at all times, and are more likely to text, snapchat, and check social media while driving.  Many are also distracted by passengers, singing or moving to music, taking their eyes off the road, or reaching for something.  According to AAA, distraction plays a role in 60% of moderate to severe teen car crashes.  Make sure your teen is aware of the dangers of distracted driving before they get behind the wheel this summer.

Another thing to be conscious of this summer are the number of impaired drivers on the road.  From summer barbeques to holidays to graduation parties, many people do not drink responsibly, and get behind the wheel following these events while under the influence of alcohol.  Stay alert for sloppy driving, and be cautious if you find yourself on the road with a car that seems to be swerving or driving recklessly.

This summer, be sure to stay alert while on the roads, either avoid or drive slowly through construction sites, never drive while impaired, and make sure any and all vehicle maintenance is up to date.  If you follow these guidelines, you can help make the roads safer this summer, and prevent any accidents or harm to others while driving.

ASE Certified Shops

The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are proud to be ASE Certified! There are several certifications and organizations in the automotive industry, serving to raise auto care across the nation up to a higher standard. ASE, or the National Institute for Automotive Excellence, is one of them. ASE has been up and running since 1972 as an independent, non-profit organization that certifies individual technicians and service advisors, not the auto shop as a whole. They grant certification based on tests, skill level, and the ethics and community involvement of each worker on a case by case basis.

This system is very helpful across the board. For the technicians, it’s a way for them to show evidence of their skill and professionalism to potential employers. For shop managers, it can help them promote their shop based on the fact that they have ASE Certified technicians, and it helps them get a sense of the skill and experience level for their potential employees based on a nationally appreciated scale. For consumers, it means all they have to look for is the blue and white ASE seal to know that they have found a great place for automotive repair and service.

So how do you become ASE Certified? First, an aspiring mechanic must have a two-year degree and a year of experience, or two years of on the job training, to be eligible to take the test. Only two out of three test takers pass on their first try. In addition, to stay certified technicians must retest every five years. There are over 40 different exams for specialties like school buses, collision repair, truck accessories, and more, and the tests are designed by a panel of experts. That’s why ASE Certification is a staple of excellence in the automotive industry.

You can rest assured knowing your vehicle is in good hands when you take it to one of the members of Your Hometown Bodyshop!

Hit a Parked Car? Here is What You Need to Do.

While it is a situation no one ever hopes to encounter, if you’ve hit a parked car, taking responsibility for the accident is the right thing to do for both parties involved. And by law you are required to report the accident to the owner of the other vehicle whether it be in person or through leaving a note on their car.

The laws can vary from state to state, however below are the basic steps for what to do after you accidentally hit a parked car.

Don’t leave the scene.

Although tempting, especially when the damage is minor or unnoticeable, driving away and hoping nobody saw you can lead to more serious repercussions if you are caught. In every state, it is against the law to leave the scene when you accidentally hit a parked car and can be considered a hit and run in some cases. No matter how strong the urge to make a quick getaway, don’t do it! From a moral, legal, and financial standpoint, it pays to stick around and do the right thing.

Try to find the owner.

The law doesn’t expect you to wait around all day for the owner of the other vehicle to appear. You are, however, required to make a reasonable attempt to find that owner before leaving. For example, if someone saw the accident, ask if they know who the car belongs to. If the car is parked right in front of a store, go inside and ask if anyone knows who the owner of the car is. Otherwise, wait around 10 or 15 minutes to see if the owner appears. If not, you can legally drive away after leaving your name and contact information.

Leave a note.

If you can’t find the owner of the parked car you hit, the next step is to leave a note for them. Most states require the note to include your name, address, contact number, and a brief explanation of the accident. You may also want to include the name and contact information of your insurance carrier. If you were driving someone else’s car, include the name and address of the car’s owner as well.

Describe the accident in a general way, as any information in the note can be used against you when the insurance companies are settling the claim. Make sure the note is tucked securely under the windshield wiper before driving away.

Document the damage.

Use a camera or your cell phone to take photos or video of the other car’s license plate and the auto body damage to both cars. If you don’t have your phone with you, describe the damage in the note you leave behind, and write it down for your insurance company as well.

Call your insurance company.

Once you have taken all the steps to document the accident and notify the other vehicle’s owner, call your insurance company – the sooner the better. This will enable them to initiate the claims process so both vehicles can be repaired in a timely manner. Be prepared to provide all the details, such as location, time of day, and what you were doing when you struck the other vehicle.

If you have any questions, please call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

What Affects Automotive Paint Color Matching?

There are a few factors that make matching color a difficult task. First let’s take a look at what makes up the paint. The basic ingredients in automotive paint are resin, pigment, and solvent. Resin holds together the pigment, provides adhesion to the surface applied, and determines the quality and paint durability. Pigment comes in powder form, and the aftermarket auto paint mixing system includes roughly 100 colors or toners to mix formulas, including pearl and metallic paint colors. Solvent provides transferability; without it the paint would be too thick.

When the auto paint manufacturer mixes these three elements to create a formula for the standard color, they are allowed a tolerance of plus or minus 5% when the paint is delivered. This percentage can make a big difference and actually cause two of the same vehicles to look completely different in color.

Temperature when painting, paint film thickness, time between coats, speed and type of paint spray gun, surface type, and humidity can all factor in differences in auto body paint color shade.

Sunlight is another factor to consider when color matching. A car exposed to sunlight for years will have begun to fade in color.

There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to match autobody paint color. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are all well versed in the latest painting technology and techniques to get your vehicle looking brand new. If you need automotive painting services, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

Why Are Electronic Safety System Recalibrations So Important?

Many newer cars come with mandatory electronically-controlled safety systems like airbags, along with optional collision avoidance features like forward crash, lane departure and blind spot detection alerts. The combined objective of those high-tech systems is to avoid accidents, save lives or, at a minimum, reduce impact severity. But even with these innovations wrecks still occur that require auto body repairs. And when a car with any of these newer safety features is involved in even a minor fender bender every driver alert system’s sensor alignment and overall performance must be tested and recalibrated before the collision repairs are completed. The same holds true for the vehicle’s airbag system, whether it deployed or not.

Experienced technicians realize that failing to conduct a thorough recalibration on these ultra-sensitive electronic systems could jeopardize the safety of occupants later on. To ensure that doesn’t happen, there are several recalibration steps involved using special diagnostic equipment once your vehicle arrives at the shop. As a driver you also need to be educated on what should be done when your vehicle is undergoing repairs. With that in mind here are some important points about electronic recalibrations that could someday save your life, or that of another.

Electronic System Recalibrations Require These Steps

Electronic safety systems operate when a signal is sent from a sensor or camera to an onboard computer. Like most electrical systems in your car, the airbag deployment and collision avoidance ones have dash warning lights to alert you when communication is interrupted. But sometimes after an accident these lights don’t come on when they should. And even when a system is not disconnected during repairs that doesn’t necessarily mean it will perform optimally. Additionally, merely reading diagnostic test codes won’t always reveal that there’s a problem. As a result, your car’s sensitive electronic safety systems need to be tested and recalibrated using these 3 vital steps:

• Scanning the vehicle-specific codes for error messages through the OBD port
• Clearing those diagnostic codes
• Recalibrating or “resetting” the sensors according to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure they are not misaligned or out of focus

A simple OBD port scan cannot determine if the system’s sensors, which typically use laser, radar or camera technology, are aimed correctly. Special diagnostic and calibration equipment is needed in most cases, and not all body shops have that. To assist in system recalibrations there exist outside specialty companies that will come to the shop, or sometimes the car is taken to a certified local dealership to get the reprogramming done. When recalibrating your electronic systems, trained technicians use online websites like I-CAR, ALLDATA or OEM to access the correct reprogramming specifications set forth by the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Routine Collision Repairs Can Disrupt Electronic Signals

In addition to damage from the accident itself, there are several routinely-done collision repairs that can disrupt your vehicle’s sensitive onboard electronic systems including:

• Windshield replacements
• Disconnecting the battery wires and/or electrical rewiring
• Bumper repairs and replacements
• Grill assembly repairs and replacements
• Painting plastic bumpers and other body panels

Most safety sensors are covertly located on the front or rear of your car. If a bumper or grill assembly is not correctly reinstalled during repairs it can cause a sensor misalignment or even signal disruption interference. Any freshly-painted surfaces that cover sensors, for example a plastic bumper, must have a specified maximum paint thickness, measured in “mils”, over those sensors to ensure they work properly.

 

If you’ve been in an accident it’s important to have scans and recalibrations done – call the members of Your Hometown Body Shop to make sure your car is fixed properly the first time.

 

Information provided by Carwise 

Rear End Collision Damage

Being involved in a rear-end collision is never fun. If your vehicle has been rear-ended, there are a few things you should check before getting back on the road.

Hidden Body Damage

In a rear-end collision, there is often damage behind the bumper cover that you may not be able to see just looking at the vehicle.  Most modern vehicles use plastic bumper covers that don’t provide a lot of protection between the frame of your vehicle and another, even if it’s a small car that caused the impact. In short, you can’t always rely on the visual appearance to be sure there’s no damage. Always check.

 Alignment Issues

If you notice changes in the way your car handles after a rear-end collision, your alignment is probably off. The most obvious symptom of an alignment issue is uneven driving or steering wobble where the wheel pulls to one side. You may also notice vibrations while driving. Improper alignment issues can cause serious safety hazards to your vehicle or others when driving. If you notice alignment issues, call a member of Your Hometown Body Shop immediately to get your vehicle looked at.

Rear Trunk Problems 

Your vehicle’s trunk should open and close smoothly. If it does not after a rear-end collision, that means that there could be some damage to rear cabin components. This won’t impact your driving, but could create a safety hazard if the trunk lid suddenly opens while you’re driving.

If your vehicle has been involved in a rear end accident, it’s a good idea to take it to a professional. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop can be reached for an inspection or damage estimate. Let us help you get safely back on the road.

Protect Your Car from the Effects of Road Salt

There are several benefits from the widespread use of road salt, including accident avoidance. However road salt can also cause severe damage to vehicles. Salt is spread out prior to a snow or ice storm and motorists venture out accumulating a thick coating of road salt mixed with slush throughout their vehicle’s undercarriages and wheel well. When the slush melts, it is the salt that is left behind, causing a slow attack on metal and rubber parts.

Brakes are especially susceptible as the rotors always present a fresh metallic surface for the salt to attack. Salt causes rust on the brackets that encase the brake pads and the extra layer of rust puts a squeeze on the pads over time. This can prevent them from applying fully or releasing completely.

Maintain Your Car’s Longevity

Road salt is unavoidable, so it’s best to get your car to a car was at least once a month when the roads are salted. Look for a car wash with an undercarriage cleaning!

If your car is in good shape underneath, you might also consider having a professionally applied rust-proofing treatment that concentrates on the brake lines, fuel lines, and other vulnerable areas.

If you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, give one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop a call!

Parking Lot Accidents

Parking lots seem to be a place that you’d think you would be safe from being involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, as these types of accidents typically occur as other drivers are entering or exiting the parking space(s) next to your car.

Accidents can include minor damage, i.e. from car doors as drivers enter and exit their vehicle or runaway shopping carts, or major damage, i.e. a driver miscalculating the distance they have as they are pulling into a parking spot. What do you do if you return to your vehicle to find damage? This depends on whether the other party is present.

Party Is Present

Be sure to get their full contact information including name, address, phone numbers, and any other information you feel will be necessary as well as their insurance information. You will want to verify that their insurance information is current. Take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the surroundings. If there are witnesses, you will want to get their statements and contact information as well. Document everything and get copies of the police report.

Party Is Not Present

In the event that the other party is not present, there is a high likelihood that no contact information will be left. Some people may not see these types of accidents as serious, and if the damage is minor they will assume you can, “buff that right out.”  So, unless someone else witnessed the accident, they may simply drive off as if nothing happened.

Just because no one is around the immediate area, does not mean that no one witnessed the accident.  Take a look around to see if anyone is in the area that might have witnessed the accident. If so, get their statement and contact information. You should also check to see if there are any video cameras in the area that may have recorded the incident.  Call the police to report the accident and give them as much information as you can.  You will still want to document everything with pictures of the damage; as well as the surrounding areas just as you would if the other party was present.  Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible.

If you have enough insurance coverage, your car will be repaired even if the other party is never identified.  Call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop to schedule an appointment to have your car repaired.  We can get you back on the road again quickly and safely!

Safe Driving Resolutions

In the US each year, there are over six million auto accidents reported. Some are minor, while others are major and far too often, the collisions result in extensive vehicle damage and serious injuries. Most often the cause of these accidents is due to driver error and risk miscalculations. Take control and make a few adjustments to your driving habits to reduce your crash risk.

Maintain and Utilize Your Lights

Your lights are crucial to properly signal turns, stops, and emergency moves, which means it’s imperative that they are all working well.  Check to make sure your light systems work and make sure the light housings are clear of damage and debris.

If there is damage, including standing water, you’ll want to get them repaired as soon as possible. Once you verify your lights are working properly, resolve to always us them to indicate your intentions while driving. And don’t forget to turn on your headlights during inclement weather and just before dusk to keep your vehicle visible to other drivers (and pedestrians).

Redirect Your Attention to the Road Ahead

Distracted driving is dangerous and injures over 400,000 people each year. This number is likely to increase unless drivers resolve and commit to redirecting their attention to the road ahead. Texting is the most common form of distraction, however there are several other forms of distraction including: eating, talking with others, changing radio stations, applying makeup, setting up navigation, watching movies, and reading.

Improve your safety while driving by pulling over to complete these actions. Don’t forget to signal and merge back into traffic to continue on your way.

Adhere to Safe Following Distances

Do you know how far back you should be behind the car in front of you? The three second rule is a great thing to utilize to ensure you have enough time to stop if a hazard appears in front of the vehicles in your path.

To check your following distance, pick a stationary object ahead and start counting when the vehicle in front of you passes it by. If you pass that object before three seconds have passed, you will need to briefly slow down to adjust your following distance. In hazardous weather, heavy traffic or other potentially risky driving situations, increase your following distance even further.

Resist the Urge to Speed

Your risk of getting into collision doubles with each 5 MPH increase in speed. While you might feel that speeding gets you to your destination faster, the reality is that even a 20 MPH increase in speed does very little for your arrival time.

Resolve to follow posted speed limits to minimize the risk of sustaining fatal injuries for you , your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Merge Safely

The zipper merge technique is the most efficient and safest way to combine two lanes of traffic. Instead of stopping short to merge into the continuing lane early, simply stay in the lane until arrows appear. Then, turn on your blinker and slow down to match your speed with the vehicles in the adjacent lane before smoothly merging over. If you are already in the continuing lane, move your vehicle forward at a steady, predictable pace and leave enough room for one car to zip in at the merge point.

Stay Right Unless Passing

Traveling in the right lane allows you to lessen the risks associated with speed differences between two or more vehicles. Left lane drivers will be able to pass you without weaving around vehicles, which will also help prevent your involvement in a collision. This practice will also help you stay out of legal trouble, as it is illegal in many areas to remain in the left lane continuously.

Even if you follow all these resolutions, you may still find yourself involved in an auto accident at some point. If, and when, an accident occurs, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop for the necessary repairs.

Caring for Your Interior

Want to keep your vehicle’s interior in tip-top shape but aren’t always sure of the right steps to take to do so? Your Hometown Body Shop has you covered!

Vacuuming

Vacuuming your car is the best thing you can do to keep is clean and looking beautiful. Remember to remove the floor mats and use different accessories on the vacuum to reach those hard to get places.

Upholstery Care

If there is dirt on your vehicle’s upholstery (spoiler, you bring dirt into your car every day), you’ll want to use a carpet and upholstery cleaner specific for automotive care. Leaving dirt on your upholstery can cause discoloration over time. If there are stains you cannot remove, you can call any of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Cleaning your Dashboard

Your dashboard collects a lot of dust. To clean it, you should begin by vacuuming and follow that with a microfiber cloth. You should avoid household cleaning products that are harsh on your vehicle’s interior. Cleaning the steering wheel is important, but be sure not to use a greasy or slippery product as they may affect your grip.

Clean Windows = Better Visibility

Use glass cleaners that won’t leave behind any streaks, especially when used with a newspaper. Keep in mind that some glass cleaners are not designed to work on tinted windows and can actually cause damage.

Professional Help

If you need vehicle maintenance in Standish, Midland, or Richville Michigan, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop. We are experts in the proper way to care for the interior of your vehicle.

Renting A Car After An Accident: 4 Questions to Ask

If you’ve been in an accident you’ll know that a rental car is a necessity while your vehicle is fixed. Before renting a car there are a few questions you’ll want to have prepared.

Will my insurance company cover the cost of my rental car?

Rental car reimbursement, what you’ll need if you want the cost of your rental car covered after an accident, is not automatically included in most automobile insurance policies. It is most often an optional coverage. Take note, if you do have this coverage, it likely only kicks in if your own insurance policy is covering the costs of your damaged vehicle. It often is subject to payment of your deductible and the vehicle will need to be returned immediately upon completion of your auto body repairs.

Is rental car reimbursement coverage right for me?

Deciding whether or not to elect rental car reimbursement should be based on your own family situation. Start by asking yourself if your family could function with one less vehicle on a day-to-day basis. If the answer is yes, coverage may not be necessary. If the answer is no, you’ll likely need access to a rental car in the event your vehicle needs auto body repairs.

Is rental car reimbursement coverage worth it?

An average rental car costs $50 per day, which varies based on vehicle size and where you live. Depending on the severity of your vehicle damage, auto body repairs can take days to sometimes weeks to complete. Consider if you could afford this daily fee out of pocket while your vehicle is in the auto body shop. Also consider the lifetime cost of coverage. The average driver has an accident once every seven years. Compare the average cost of a rental car to your seven year cost of rental reimbursement coverage to decide if it’s worth it for you in the end.

Whatever you decide, be sure to understand that rental car reimbursement and protection when you drive a rental car. These coverages are separate. An important question to ask here is: When I get behind the wheel of a rental car, am I protected by my own automobile insurance policy?

Before getting into a rental car, review your own insurance policy to answer this question. In many cases your own personal liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, extend to a rental you may drive. If you don’t have comprehensive or collision coverage on your insurance policy, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance coverage offered by the rental agency to cover costs of damage and auto body repairs in the event of an accident. Also check with your credit card company, many offer secondary rental car insurance at no charge when the rental car is paid for on the credit card.

Post Car Repair Do’s & Don’ts

You’ve been in a car accident, but fortunately you brought your vehicle to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop in Michigan for the repairs. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop care greatly about getting you back on the road quickly and safely, so they’ve made the necessary repairs using state-of-the-art technology and your car looks and drives like new again.

Following a collision repair, your car needs some time to recoup after you bring it home from one of our shops. Mechanically and structurally, you will have no problems, however if your car was repainted, you’ll want to pay attention to that. Below is a list of do’s and don’ts you should follow to protect your newly repaired vehicle.

Do:

  1. Wash Your Vehicle by Hand – the new paint and finish needs a chance to dry and harden, so you should take care washing it for at least three months after a new paint job. Remember to use cool, clean water, not hot with a soft cloth or sponge.
  2. Wash Your Vehicle in the Shade – you’ll want to take care not to let the surface of your car dry out or get too hot by keeping it wet and washing it in the shade.
  3. Dry Your Car Thoroughly – water droplets that dry on the surface can be unsightly as well as permanent water marks that will damage the finish
  4. Keep Your Vehicle in the Garage – extreme heat or cold can cause weather-related damage to a newly painted vehicle.
  5. Get Your Vehicle Professionally Detailed – at least twice a year, let the professionals detail your car. You’ll want to inform them that your car was recently painted so they can take the necessary precautions and care.

Don’t:

  1. Wax or Polish Your Vehicle – you should wait at least three months before waxing and polishing your car so as to not damage the finish or discolor the paint.
  2. Dry Wipe your Vehicle – as tempting as it may be to take a dry cloth and wipe off the dust, you should refrain! Doing this can scratch the new paint.
  3. Go Through a Car Wash – often times, drive-through car washes use stiff brushes that can definitely scratch and damage a newly painted car.
  4. Park Under Trees or Power Lines – tree sap and bird droppings will do serious damage to your new paint job.
  5. Scrape Off Ice or Snow – a hard, plastic scraper is a sure way to damage the paint job. Try instead to use your hand or a soft brush to remove excess snow.
  6. Use Dish or Clothing Detergent – these types of soaps leave harmful residues and are too strong for your vehicle’s finish.
  7. Drive or Dirt or Gravel Roads – if you can avoid it (living or driving in rural areas can make this difficult) as these roads can make your car and its new paint job susceptible to chipping.

 

By following these do’s and don’ts, your car will continue to look and drive like new for many miles down the road. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Can A Bent Car Frame be Fixed After an Accident?

Collisions happen – which means there is a need for accident repairs! The members of Your Hometown Body Shop are able to service vehicles in all stages of disrepair. One of the more challenging fixes is repairing vehicle frames damaged in a collision.

Cars today are manufactured in a way that many accidents will result in some kind of damage to the core inner frame of your vehicle. This comes as a result of the high safety standards that car manufacturers must adhere to when designing and building new cars. The creation of “Crumple Zones” that are built into cars, trucks, and SUVs mean that your vehicle has design elements meant to absorb the impact of a collision.

If frame damage is diagnosed in your vehicle after a collision, you should refrain from panicking. Well trained mechanics can typically return your vehicle as close to factory specs as possible with the help of specialized framing machines that use torque and hydraulics to put your frame back into its original shape. In a case where your frame cannot be straightened out using the machines, the mechanic may suggest cutting out bent pieces and welding new metal pieces in their place.

It is important to note that although such repairs are common, welding can reduce the integrity of your metal frame. This may compromise your insurance policy; it could also compromise the safety of your vehicle. If the damage is too great, you may want to write off your car.

New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel

New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences.

AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers.

“Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.”

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road.

Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested.

 

http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/10/new-vehicle-infotainment-systems-create-increased-distractions-behind-wheel/

 

What to Look for in a Good Auto Repair Shop

So you’ve been in an accident and need to have your car repaired. Ensure you’re getting service you can trust by remembering these tips for what to ask at the shop and signs of good (and not so good) mechanics.

Be wary of scare stactics. If the auto repair shop is saying things like “I wouldn’t drive this another mile” you may want to consider getting a second opinion.

Visible certifications from AAA or ASE are signs of a reputable shop. A good mechanic will explain your repair options thoroughly and keep a clean shop.

A shop you should be wary of might ask you to sign blank authorization forms or may try to sell you unnecessary things like a transmission flush.

Meet the mechanics! You should be able to easily talk to the people who will be working on your car. This helps to develop a trusting relationship.

All the members of Your Hometown Body Shop are reputable mechanics who are dedicated to enhancing the integrity and professionalism of the collision industry.

Common Types of Accidents

Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you drive, you may experience at least one car accident in your life, and you’ll likely witness several more. While some accidents are pretty devastating, others are less extreme. There are many different types of auto accidents, however here are the 4 most common:

HEAD-ON COLLISIONS

These are the most serious type of accident. Especially at high speeds, they can lead to serious damage to the vehicles as well as serious injury or death. They are often caused by distracted or tired drivers drifting into oncoming traffic. They may also be caused by impaired drivers or by bad weather conditions, such as wet roads.

SIDE-IMPACT CRASH

Side-impact crashes happen when one vehicle crashes into the side of another vehicle. Often, they happen when someone runs a red light, someone fails to yield to other traffic, or when someone makes a turn when there was not time to safely make the turn. Sometimes, these mistakes are caused by distracted, tired, or otherwise impaired drivers.

REAR-END COLLISIONS

With a rear-end collision, one vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. At times, one vehicle may crash into another vehicle, pushing that vehicle into the one in front of it, causing a multi-vehicle crash. While rear-end collisions may be caused by distracted or impaired drivers, they are also often caused by weather conditions, such as wet or icy roads, as well as people slamming on their brakes when the person behind them is following too closely.

PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS

With parking lot accidents, vehicles are generally going at slow speeds, so the damage may not be as extensive. They may be caused by someone backing into another vehicle or one vehicle not yielding for another vehicle. Despite the generally slow speed, though, vehicles can be damaged, and people may suffer injuries, including cuts, bruises, and whiplash.

These are just a few of the types of accidents you may experience as a driver. If you were involved in an auto accident, contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop. We will pick-up your vehicle, handle the repairs, talk to your insurance company, and even help you get a rental vehicle if needed.

Distracted Driving

In 2015 alone, 391,000 people were injured and 3,477 lives we lost due to distracted driving. Research conducted by AT&T found that nearly 4 in 10 social media users go on their social media while behind the wheel. The risk of a crash increases by 23 times if you text and drive.

If these statistics scare you, they are doing their job. None of those 391,000 injuries or 3,477 deaths would have happened if people just did not drive while distracted. Distracted driving is a huge issue that is completely avoidable, yet extremely prevalent in today’s society. We must handle the issue of distracted driving before it takes even more lives and injures even more people than it already has.

The most important question is what is distracted driving? There are three different kinds of distracted driving. Visual, when you take your eyes off the road, Manual, where you take your hands off the wheel, and cognitive, which is when you take your mind off driving. Some kinds of activities that would count as distracted driving include, going on your phone while behind the wheel, eating, even using in-vehicle navigation or radio systems.

It is not fair to your, the passengers in your car, or the other drivers on the road if you distract yourself while behind the wheel. You are not only putting yourself in danger but every single other car that is on the road as well. Do not be someone who adds to the already long list of fatalities caused by distracted driving. 1 out of every 4 car crashes that happen are due to texting while driving, a very prominent form of distracted driving.

If you find yourself guilty of distracted driving, help make a change and save lives and vow to stop distracted driving now.

Dealing with Insurance Following an Accident

Getting in an accident may result in extreme stress and anxiety over the state of your car. Taking care of your vehicle following an accident, while essential, may be frustrating and confusing if you do not know what to do. Having insurance removes some of the irritation that comes with being in an accident, which can assist in keeping a level head during such a difficult time.

In order to understand how to use your insurance to your advantage, you should know what it covers. If you are the one at fault, collision insurance will assist in repairing the damage to both vehicles and the people involved in the collision. However, most insurance companies only cover accidents wherein only vehicles are involved; if you happen to drive your car into something like a wall, it is unlikely that your insurance will cover the accident, even if you have damage to your car.

To ensure your insurance covers the damage to your car, file a police report at the time of the accident. This will prevent the insurance company from forcing you to become responsible for paying for the damage out-of-pocket. Make sure you know how your insurance company handles repairs. Contact your insurance company and ask how they handle repairs so that you follow policy when in an accident. Some providers have specific mechanics they work with, or you may be able to take your car to your own mechanic. Know how to handle an accident so that you need not worry about whether or not your methods of repair are in accordance with insurance policies.

Summer Safety Tips

With the weather starting to heat up, long car trips to your ideal vacation are inevitable. With the snow and ice gone, you might think that the worst driving conditions for the year are over. While summertime eliminates the dangers of ice and snow, it does not eliminate road work, dangerous drivers, or vehicle malfunctions. Below are dangers of the summer roads and how to prevent yourself from falling victim to these predicaments.

  • Vehicle Malfunctions: Vehicle malfunctions can happen suddenly, leaving you stranded on the side of the road waiting for assistance. This may make you late to check-in or unable to enjoy your vacation. Before leaving, be sure to check your vehicle to be certain that your vehicle is working properly. Look at things like fluid levels, lights, and tire pressure. Make sure to take care of parts that are costly and would be time-consuming to repair before you leave, or you will not be able to fully enjoy your time off.
  • Overheating and Fatigue: Staying alert is impossible when you are focused on how hot your vehicle is or how tired you are from driving such a long distance. You can either roll the windows down and let the wind cool you down, or you can turn the air conditioner on high before leaving and let it run for a few minutes to make sure the air coming out of the vents is cold. You can then adjust the flow of the air once the cab becomes cold. This will assist in battling fatigue from the heat. However, if you do feel fatigue, do not force yourself to keep driving. Combined with the heat, fatigue is worsened, so do not push your body to its limit. You should have frequent rest stops built into your drive, so make sure to assess yourself before leaving these rest stops. Take enough water with you to last the trip. If possible, bring a cooler for the water and freeze a few bottles to put in the cooler. This will assist in cooling down your body.
  • Restlessness and Distraction: Keep your phone out of your hands and out of your mind while you are driving. Do not eat, drink, or smoke behind the wheel. Always pull over or stop at a rest stop to do these things. To combat restlessness, take a brief walk at each rest stop and stretch. Sitting in your vehicle for so long may cause you discomfort, so be sure to move when you have safe opportunities at rest stops. Do not let your restlessness manifest itself in reckless driving.
  • Detours and Road Work: Prior to leaving on your trip, check for road closures and traffic. Be sure to accommodate time due to delays if you are on a strict schedule. Even if you do not see any closures or major traffic, expect there to be some anyway and prepare accordingly. Identify alternate routes to your destination just in case. If you have one, be sure to have your GPS charged before you leave.

Stay alert on the road and be sure to buckle your seatbelt. Even though summer is here, do not let yourself neglect road safety, especially on long trips.

Scratch Repair Pens

If you have a scratch on your car, you probably want to take care of the issue as quickly as possible. Using a scratch repair pen for your car seems like a convenient and efficient option, but how well do these pens actually work? After several studies testing the scratch pens, the general conclusion is that these scratch repair pens don’t work like they’re advertised to.

Advertisements for these pens typically state that they will work on any color car. This is technically true, but only because the pens are designed to fix scratches in the protective clear coat over top of the paint on your car. Any major scratches that affect the paint on the vehicle will thus not be fixed. This is due to the fact that these pens have no color in them. The lack of color makes it impossible for the pens to fix the scratched paint job.

If you have a scratch on your car, don’t bother buying one of these pens, as they only work on surface-level scratches. Even on surface scratches, the pens still seem to be messy and difficult to use, often resulting in a messy “repair” that only brings more attention to the scratch. Application also proves difficult for the user. They require a very steady hand, and make a thin and even application of the clear filler almost impossible. The use of these pens is hit or miss, often leaving your scratch more of an eyesore than before.

Despite the advertised claim that these pens are easy-to-use and applicable to any color car, these repair pens will only work on the clear protective coat of the paint. Save your money and avoid these pens unless you want to magnify the damage to your car. If you are hoping to fix deep scratches on your vehicle, visit one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Driving in the Rain

Nervous about driving in a downpour? Many accidents occur as a result of the rain, as rain makes it easier for your car to slide due to lost traction. While you should try to refrain from driving in heavy rain, sometimes a commute is unavoidable. Keep yourself safe from the dangers of spring showers with these tips for driving through downpours:

  • Keep Your Vehicle Up-to-Date: Make sure to replace windshield wipers if need be. Visibility is essential to avoiding accidents. Turn on your headlights to further increase visibility. Assess your brakes to avoid slipping. Finally, check the tread on your tires to avoid hydroplaning. Precautions like these make any accidents less likely to occur.
  • Be Cautious: Never drive through a large collection of water, especially if it is moving and you cannot see the bottom. If the water comes up to the opening of your door, do not continue in that direction. Instead, find an alternate route. Be sure to slow down in the rain, since it is more difficult to stop quickly if you are moving at a greater speed. Furthermore, leave more space between your vehicle and other drivers in case one of you slip or have to stop suddenly.
  • Avoid Putting Wheels in Rain: When possible, move to the middle lane or try to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. The edges of the road are where the most water collects, as the road has a slight curve to create runoff. By staying in the middle, you can reduce the amount of water your tires will have to fight against. Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you achieves the same effect, as these spots have had a momentary lapse of rain from the car in front. However, do not drive directly behind the car in front of you; be sure to leave space so that you may both slow to a stop safely.
  • Turn Off Cruise Control: Cruise control prevents your car from quickly accelerating or decelerating. If you need to speed up, slow down, or stop suddenly due to the rain, you will not be able to do so if cruise control is still on. Cruise control is not to be used in the rain, as it may reduce the traction of your tires and cause you to get in an accident.
  • Don’t Panic: The worst thing you can do in any dangerous situation is to panic, as it inhibits decision-making. Stay calm if your car begins to slide. Do not oppose the direction the car is going in quickly, as it could cause your vehicle to turn over. Ease your foot up off the gas to stop the incident from worsening. Avoid braking suddenly, as this will make the car more difficult to control as a result of the instantaneous shift in balance. Slowly steer in the direction you wish to go to prevent the car from flipping.

Car Seat Replacement After an Accident

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and had a child restrained in a car seat, you may need to replace the seat! In April 2004, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced changes to the agency’s recommendations about replacing child safety seats following a crash. NHTSA explains:

“The change was made to ensure parents or caregivers continue to correctly restrain their children following a minor crash and to reduce the burden of unnecessary child safety seat replacement.”

Child safety seats should be replaced if they have been involved in a moderate or severe crash. A crash is minor — and the seat involved in it is safe for reuse — if it meets all of the following criteria:

  1. A visual inspection of the child safety seat, including inspection under any easily movable seat padding, does not reveal any cracks or deformation that might have been caused by the crash.
  2. The vehicle in which the child safety seat was installed was capable of being driven from the crash scene.
  3. The vehicle door nearest the child safety seat was undamaged.
  4. There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants.
  5. The air bags (if any) did not deploy.

A crash that meets these criteria is much less severe than the dynamic test used in compliance tests of Child Restraint Systems. They are highly unlikely to affect future child safety seat performance, which will give parents and caregivers peace of mind that child restraints involved in minor accidents will continue to provide a high level of protection.

Most insurance carriers will reimburse you for the replacement of a new car seat if it was in an accident. However, all policies are different and, should you be involved in an accident, you should check with the insurance carrier handling the accident for more details. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Proper Windshield Installation and Your Safety

The view through a damaged windshield can slow your response time in an emergency and make driving at night dangerous. Having a damaged windshield replaced properly can make the difference between life and death if you are involved in a crash or collision. The following information has been shared by Gerber Collision.

Properly-Installed Windshields Save Lives

A new windshield that’s installed correctly provides more than just a clear view of the road. These two glass sheets with a layer of vinyl sandwiched in between are what keep you and your passengers safe inside the vehicle in the event of an accident.

  • A poorly-installed windshield can pop out on impact. Without this critical structural support, the roof can cave in and crush anyone inside the vehicle.
  • When airbags deploy in a crash, they can dislodge an improperly-installed windshield. If this happens, the life saving airbag pushes out through the hole instead of cushioning the front seat occupants.
  • If the windshield fails on impact, you or your passengers can be ejected from the vehicle, which increases your risk of serious injury or death.

Skilled Windshield Installation Is Critical for Safety

According to the Auto Glass Safety Council, it’s vital to choose a certified, experienced installer to replace a damaged windshield. Certification helps ensure that a technician is trained on the latest advances in windshield adhesives and correct installation techniques. Before you choose an auto glass installer, ask these key questions:

  • Do you use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) quality glass? It’s stronger and fits better than cheaper alternatives.
  • Do your technicians wear gloves? If not, oil from their bare hands can degrade the adhesive.
  • Can the vehicle be driven immediately after a windshield installation? For the adhesive to set properly, the vehicle shouldn’t be driven for up to 12 hours.

For expert, certified windshield installation, contact a member of Your Hometown BodyShop today!

Spring Cleaning for Your Vehicle

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home. Your car also needs a little extra care in the spring! Keep your car running efficiently as the warmer weather approaches by following these tips.

You’ve likely had to use a lot of fluids throughout the winter to keep your car running properly. As the weather gets nicer, it’s imperative you get the fluids checked and refill those that are low.

While Spring brings warmer weather, it also brings rain showers, which means it’s important to ensure your windshield wipers are working properly. You do not want to get stuck in a down pour with windshield wipers that don’t work! For your safety, windshield wipers should typically be replaced every six months.

Your tires are likely to contract in the cold winter months, however in the spring, they’re more likely to expand in the warmer weather. These changes mean you should check and rotate your tires to ensure you are getting an even amount of pressure on all sides.

While these tips are helpful for keeping your vehicle running properly, they also serve as safety tips. If you have any questions or are in need of a collision repair center, please feel free to reach out to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Towing Services

Have you been in an accident and are in need of a towing service? The members of Your Hometown Body Shop offer 24 hour towing and can help you! We will arrange to have your vehicle picked up at the scene of the accident and have it towed to one of our Collision Repair shops.

We can assist you with insurance information and negotiating the proper repair procedures. We are the experts. Our vast experiences dealing with your insurance carrier gives you piece of mind assuring pre-accident results.

The end result is to get your vehicle back to its Pre-accident condition. That means not only looking great but having the structural integrity and all safety standards that you can’t see met as well.

Tips for Teaching Your Teen to Drive

If you have a teenager learning to drive, you know that many rules and tips for the road have changed since you were in driver’s education class and getting behind the wheel for the first time.  For that reason, we compiled a list of a few driving tips to pass along to your millennial teen.  Ingraining these tips from the beginning is the best way to ensure lasting, good habits and safe driving practices.

One of the most noteworthy laws that has been put in place in the past 25 years is the mandating of seatbelts.  While it is important for your teen driver and all occupants of a car to wear a seatbelt, there are many other safety guidelines and laws for driving today that didn’t exist just a few years back.  Restricting cell phone usage is a great example of this.  Using a phone while driving is extremely dangerous and, in many states, a punishable act.  It’s important to set rules and expectations with your teen surrounding cell phone usage in the car.  As it is smart for your young driver to have a phone with them in case of emergencies or for directions, it is useful to map out guidelines for when and where using a phone is appropriate and safe.

Optimal hand placement on the steering wheel has also seen a few updates in recent years.  It’s likely that you were taught to place your hands at 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock on the wheel, but experts have now agreed that placing hands at 3 and 9 are safer in case of an accident.  Bent and relaxed arms at 3 and 9 provide a lower chance of arms being injured by airbag deployment, as they would be on the outer edge of the bag, not the top as they would be if placed at 2 and 10.

Also, recent studies have shown that having other teens in the car creates the most dangerous driving condition for a young driver’s safety.  Please make sure to discuss focus and responsibility while driving with friends.

We wish you the best in your coaching! If you have any questions regarding teen safety while driving or collision repair, please contact one of the members of Your Hometown BodyShop!

Things You Should Know Before Sending Your Car for Repairs After A Collision

Even if your vehicle has been involved in an awful accident, there are good chances that a professional collision repair center, such as a member of Your Hometown Body Shop, can repair it and prepare it for the road again. It’s important to know a few things about the collision repair process before bringing it into the shop for repairs.

If your car is badly damaged, it is not a good idea to drive it yourself to the repair center. Instead, have it towed!

Your insurance company will want to inspect your damaged car before it is repaired. A reputable auto body shop like the Members of Your Hometown Body Shop can collaborate with insurance companies so that insurance agents can see the car at the repair center before work begins.

Some of the repair estimates you receive may be widely different. There are several factors that can account for the differences in repair costs including the quality of the replacement parts (original or after-market), the amount of time the repair will take, and whether or not all necessary work is included in the price. Your Hometown Body Shop members will give you an accurate figure right from the start, saving you from surprise fees while we work on your vehicle.

The collision repair center you choose should have the tools and equipment necessary to handle your repairs. Additionally, they should have an experienced and certified staff to complete the work. The members of Your Hometown Body Shop have more than 30 years experience in the collision repair industry. Visit our website to see our credentials.

If you are looking for a reputable collision repair service in Standish, Midland, or Richville, Michigan, then Your Hometown Body Shop is your best choice! Our members have the experience, equipment, and staff necessary to effectively repair your vehicle and get you back on the road safely.

 

What to do When You’re the Victim of a Hit and Run

Were you involved in a hit and run? This type of accident implies that you or your car were hit by another vehicle and the culprit fled the scene without giving information.  Most often it happens when someone bumps into your parked car in a parking lot.

It is completely normal to feel confused and shocked, however it is vital to try to remain relaxed. So, what should you do immediately following a hit and run to ensure maximum protection?

Gather Information

Information will be the most powerful tool. If you are at the scene when the incident occurs, try to get the car model, number, and any other distinctive features that may help the police find the driver. If you were not on the scene when it happened, look around for possible cameras or potential witnesses.

Take photos before you leave the scene. If you are able, take a photo of the culprit’s car. Record any other photos that may be helpful when filling a report.

File A Police Report

If you are able, immediately after the accident, call the police. File a report and submit all your information. The police will search for the culprit. If you do not file a report, it will be very difficult for the police to help. Acting days after the incident may be too late.

If you have been involved in a hit and run and your car needs to be repaired, call one of the members of Your Hometown BodyShop.

Car Cleaning

It is easy to put off the good cleaning your car deserves. It is important to keep both the interior and exterior clean for several reasons. There is the obvious aesthetic factor of keeping a clean car. A trash filled floor can be distracting, smelly, and aggravating as well as potentially dangerous if an object gets lodged under the pedals.

It is also difficult to find your registration or proof of insurance when the glove box is jammed with old napkins and receipts. It’s much easier to throw out your trash whenever you reach the destination instead of waiting until there’s trash piled up.

Giving your floor mats a good vacuuming and shampooing will reduce wear and tear as well as increase their lifetime. Also, keeping your car out of direct sunlight can help prevent cracks in the plastic. Washing the dirt and grime off of your car goes a long way to preventing small scratches on its finish.

Don’t forget, salt that gets all over your car in the winter is extremely corrosive and can eat away at paint and metal. Therefore it is necessary to regularly go to the car wash in both the winter and summer.

If your car has been scratched, cracked, dented, or rusted Your Hometown Body Shop can help! Give us a call today for an estimate!

Avoiding Fender Benders

Parking lots are home to many small fender bender accidents each year. There is a lot of turning, reversing and pulling out in a small area which makes it easy for a collision to occur. Although these accidents usually don’t result in injury, they can be costly and leave you without a car while it is being repaired. Most parking lot accidents can be avoided following these simple tips.

  • Be patient! Rushing out of a spot or to get the spot closest to the store is an easy way to get into an accident. Additionally, if you pull out in front of a car, the fault is yours so you will be responsible for paying damages. Getting into an accident because you were rushing will not only cost your checkbook, but time out of your day.
  • Be alert! Always be looking for cars backing out of spots or pulling through. Also be wary of cars cutting through parking spaces across the parking lot.
  • Park further away. The easiest way to avoid dents and scratches is by staying away from the areas of highest traffic. Walking a little further is worth saving yourself the headache of dealing with a ding from a carelessly opened door or a passing shopping cart
  • Check your lights and signals. The most common type of accident in the United States is a rear end collision. Making sure your break lights are in working order and are visible goes a long way in avoiding being rear ended.

In addition to these tips you should always remain sober and never text while driving. If you are involved in a parking lot fender bender, visit a member of Your Hometown Body Shop for an estimate!

Winter Driving

Driving in the snow can be a daunting task that many people avoid at all costs. Drivers should always be cautious, no matter the road conditions, but it is even more important in severe road conditions.  Here are several tips to make driving in the snow less frightening and dangerous.

Accelerate and decelerate much slower than usual. Accelerating slowly from a stop will help you gain traction

Keep a further following distance. In dry conditions, the distance is 3-4 seconds, but in snow you should increase that to 8-10 seconds

Break effectively. If you have an anti-lock brake system (ABS), then all you need to do in the event where quickly stopping is necessary, is to slam the brakes. However, if you don’t have ABS, you should firmly squeeze the pedal, without slamming it, right up to the limit of the tires’ traction. Do not brake any harder or you will lock your steering wheel up and lose all control of the car.

Approach hills with caution. You should avoid applying extra gas when proceeding up a hill. Begin your ascent with some momentum and slowly drive without stopping if you can.

We urge all drivers to always use caution when navigating in severe weather conditions and if conditions are extreme it is best to just wait until roads improve.

Auto Glass Repair

Windshield chips and cracks are some of the more common things that send people to auto repair shops. Without proper care, small cracks, scratches, or nicks can easily develop into larger (read: more expensive) repairs! You’re also putting yourself in harm’s way if your vision is impaired as a driver by a crack in the windshield.

Do you have a chip or crack in your windshield or one of the other windows in your vehicle? Get the repair done sooner to avoid a more expensive fix and potential issues down the road.

Often times, a crack smaller than a dollar bill can be repaired, whereas a larger crack will require full glass replacement! The members of Your Hometown Body Shop can quickly assess the damage to your car and give you an honest estimate.

If your windshield can be repaired, the process is simple and you can expect to drive out of the repair shop in about an hour.   The technician uses a small suction vacuum to remove any water or other matter from the crack then injects resin to fill it.

Whether you need a windshield/glass repair or replacement, the process can be performed in under an hour. Auto glass repair is also often covered by insurance providers, making the process quick and easy for you!

If you have any questions, please reach out to any of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Why Do I Have to Pay My Deductible?

When you purchase an insurance policy from an agent you make several decisions at that time.

One of those decisions is how much you want to pay before the insurance company starts to contribute to the cost of the repairs if you were to wreck your vehicle.

Deductibles can range from $0 to $2500.00.

Of course, the higher the deductible the cheaper the monthly premium will be. Look closely at the amount of the deductible so you can decide if you can afford it if you have an accident. The draw back to a higher deductible is that you will pay for any amounts that are up to the threshold of the deductible. The contract is legally binding with the insurance company so they expect that you will pay the full amount of what you owe.

If a shop inflates an estimate to help cover the deductible it is insurance fraud. It can be investigated by a government agency known as the insurance crime bureau.

You may think you are getting away with something because they work in the background most of the time and you don’t hear much about them but you’re not. They are very smart, have seen it all, and are hard to fool. They can and will prosecute anyone who commits insurance fraud.

Honest shops don’t go that route so please do not ask any of the member shops of Your Hometown Body Shop to break the law in any way.

If you have any questions or concerns about your deductible, please contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop. We would be happy to assist however we can.

What Do Different Terms on the Estimate Mean

Most people don’t know how complicated this industry has become through the years. They believe it is just repairing cars and it is done the same way it has always been done and that is far from the truth.

New materials and procedures are continually being introduced by the manufacturers to build modern automobiles in the way that they believe we want them.

It is to some insurance companies advantage financially to use confusing terms for how the repairs will be performed on these vehicles.

They may use abbreviations or misleading terms and they are always coming up with new and different terms so these may not be all that you will see at the time you get your vehicle repaired.

You need to read the estimate that the insurance company provides and ask questions

The repairer of your choice or the insurance company when pushed will be able to explain the abbreviations.

Don’t believe that they are fixing your vehicle to better than it was prior to the damages. They are only obligated by contract to repair your vehicle to pre accident condition as they see it.

Here are explanations of some abbreviations that they are using at this time.

OEM – original equipment parts that are manufactured by the builder of the vehicle.

Aftermarket (AM) parts made by a company that does not build your car.(also known as tiwan parts.)

Economy parts – these are the same as aftermarket parts

Competitive replacement parts = these are the same as aftermarket parts.

Quality replacement parts = are the same as aftermarket parts.

CAPA – these parts are tested and certified to fit the same as oem parts but they are made by the aftermarket manufactures. (They pay a fee to have them certified.)

They may not be built with the same materials or the same procedures. (They are only certified to fit.)

OEM surplus = parts that the OEM manufacturer may have rejected for reasons of a flaw in material or workmanship or a surplus of parts and they have sold them to the highest bidder to be distributed to the public.(they used to scrap these parts but have found the money they receive for these parts to be to good to refuse in the situation they are in now.

LKQ = aftermarket parts, or any part the insurance company feels is equivalent to what is on your vehicle other than OEM.

PXN = can be re-manufactured, rebuilt, OE surplus, or reconditioned parts.

Used parts – come from a salvage yard.

PXS= used parts from a salvage yard.

NAGS = aftermarket glass parts that can come from many different manufacturer sources.

Reconditioned parts = a used part that has been repaired or taken apart and rebuilt to make it work again. (it may have new components inside or it may have been cleaned up and put back together with no new parts.)

As I said these are ever-changing terms use by different insurance companies and there may be more than I have listed.

The best way to find out how your vehicle is being repaired is to ask either your repairer or your insurance company. If you have any questions, please reach out to one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

 

Deer Collisions

With fall finally here, you may start to see a lot more deer. Deer breeding season peaks in October-December, which means there is a much a higher chance of drivers getting involved in a collision with one. These collisions can be extremely dangerous and expensive, with vehicle-deer collisions killing nearly 200 people nationally and averaging $4,135 per insurance claim. Michigan residents have a 1 in 85 chance of hitting a deer, with 185 deer crashes occurring a day, which is the 8th highest state.

Here are several tips on avoiding deer crashes:

  • Stay especially alert during dawn and dusk, which is when deer are most active
  • If you see one deer, be cautious of others as they usually travel in single-file packs
  • Slow down when passing through known deer-populated areas. Always be aware of deer crossing signs
  • Deer’s pupils dilate to a much larger than proportion than a human’s, which is why sudden head-lights at night blind and overwhelm them, causing them to freeze up
  • Never rely on deer whistles, there is no solid proof that they are effective

When you cannot avoid a crash with a deer:

  • Do not swerve. Firmly break and grasp the steering wheel until the car comes to a stop. The majority of deer-related auto deaths occur from swerving and hitting another car or object
  • Pull your car onto a safe area off of the road and turn your hazards on
  • Call your local police agency and report the accident

You should always be aware of your surroundings, always wear a seatbelt, and always be alert and of course sober. If you have any questions about how we can repair your car after a deer related accident, call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

What do I do next after having an accident?

After the initial shock of having an accident wears off your next move is critical.
This will not only affect the value of your vehicle but also the future safety of your family and any one who may be sharing a road with you. You need to decide the best place to get your vehicle repaired. Michigan has some of the best consumer laws on the books to protect you the customer.

The most important law is you are recognized as the owner of the vehicle and as such you can take your vehicle anywhere you chose to to get it repaired. No one can force you to take your vehicle anywhere you don’t want to. There are a lot of factors that can influence your decision and they all want you to believe that they have your best interest at heart.

For some people you talk to at this time saving money can be a big reason to try to influence you to take your vehicle to a certain facility to get it repaired. You need to look to friends and family to see how there experience has been with shops in your area. You then need to go and check them out to see if you agree that it is the best fit for you.

First and most important you need to look for a shop who is well trained and well equipped. Most modern vehicles are very complicated pieces of equipment that
require a lot of training and information to repair and you want to know that the shop you chose can handle the repairs. Not many shops have what is required to repair modern day vehicles.

Look around for proof of training and ask questions when you are getting your estimate of repairs. Always remember you have control of the situation because you are the owner of the vehicle.

If you have any questions you can contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Driving in School Zones

School is back in session. Most drivers tend to dread this time because it means that school buses may begin to clog up their morning commute. However, it is a big responsibility to make sure you’re aware and alert of school buses, school zones, and children when driving. Here are some helpful tips that will either help or refresh your knowledge!

  • Know when you’re in a school zone
    • In the morning, it is easy to overlook certain road signs that you may not find essential in your commute. It is also easy to become more distracted in the morning too due to a general increase in cell phone activity among the population. Most school zones now are equipped with flashing lights and more noticeable signs to warn drivers that children are in the area.
  • Reduce Speed in School Zones
    • Most School Zone signs now have a speed limit on them as well. Not only that, but now schools have upped their safety game by including speedbumps, rumble strips, and additional safety signs in the proximity of the school zone. This is done so that drivers aren’t slamming on their breaks in a school zone, but instead make a nice transition to a slower speed in order to increase safety.
      • Additionally, fines are always much higher in a school zone and the police will not hesitate to catch you for speeding.
    • Expect More Traffic
      • If you drive through or near a school zone, then your commute is going to be longer due to an increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Plan on leaving a few minutes earlier in the morning to compensate for the expected increase in traffic. Crossing guards and lights are meant to favor students over motorists. Not just walking students, but buses and parents dropping off their children are also going to slow down your route. Bring some coffee along on your commute, leave a little earlier, and relax.
    • Be on the Lookout for Buses
      • Even if you’re not necessarily driving through a school zone, you may find yourself driving near residential areas that have bus stops. It is very important to know the laws regarding school buses and when to stop. Unless there is a physical barrier separating the lanes between you and the school bus, then you must stop. Not stopping for a school bus is a very severe fine, often double or even tripled the normal amount. Additionally, it can be up to five points on your driver’s license. When in doubt, if you see a bus, slow down and be prepared to stop. You will potentially save the lives of children, and save yourself a hefty fine.

You should always be aware of your surroundings when driving, especially when driving in a school zone. If you have any questions regarding driving in school zones or where to bring your car after an accident, please call one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

American Honda Expands Initiative to Help Reach Honda and Acura Customers for Airbag Recall

American Honda has issued the following statement directed to those involved in the repair sector to help get the word out about airbag recalls for Honda and Acura vehicles:

While the Takata airbag inflator recalls affecting more than 25 automotive brands in the United States have received a good amount of attention over the last few years, many affected vehicles have not yet been repaired, and we’re doing our best to encourage owners of recalled Honda and Acura vehicles to seek free repairs as soon as possible.

As part of that effort, you may recall that, in October 2015, we created and distributed Takata airbag inflator recall awareness posters tailored toward independent mechanical repair shops, collision repair shops and auto parts stores. The response to this effort was, frankly, amazing, with more than 120,000 posters distributed to independent shops across the country, and we greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

Since the time of that original initiative, the Takata airbag inflator recalls have expanded to include more models and model years, and we are now preparing to distribute updated posters that reflect the latest information. In the coming days, independent mechanical repair shops, collision repair shops and auto parts sales personnel will start receiving the September issues of the following magazines: Brake & Front End, Import Car, Underhood Service, Tire Review, BodyShop Business and Counterman.

Inside each issue will be a fold-out poster showing all affected Honda and Acura vehicles along with a phone number and websites (see below) where vehicle VINs can be checked for their recall status.

As with the original poster, shops and stores are encouraged to post the information where technicians, collision estimators, service managers, service writers, parts sales personnel and customers can see them. When any of the affected models are encountered, shops are encouraged to check the vehicle’s VIN to see if the recall has been performed and, if not, strongly encourage our mutual customer, the Honda or Acura owner, to immediately arrange a free repair at their local dealer.

Using the VIN, anyone can check a Honda or Acura vehicle’s recall status by going to recalls.acura.com. More detailed information about Honda’s efforts surrounding the Takata airbag inflator recalls can also be found here: hondaairbaginfo.com.

Information shared from BodyShop Business.

Driving in The Dark

Now that September is here, Fall is right around the corner. With the days getting shorter and the nights getting longer, you may find yourself driving at night more often than usual. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to get into a collision at night due to a number of factors ranging from an increase in distractions to a decrease in vision among drivers. Below are some tips to help keep you safer at night, and to be more aware of your surroundings in the dark.

  • Dim Your Instrument Panel and Dashboard Lights
    • One potential factor that can hinder your nighttime driving abilities is having a dashboard that is too bright. This can cause your eyes to not adjust properly to see in the darkness ahead. Your vehicle’s dashboard comes with a dimmer switch for a reason. Turning the switch down will cause a noticeable difference in how far you can see ahead of you and it will ultimately keep you safer.
  • Don’t Stare at Oncoming Lights
    • When driving in the dark, it is human nature to be drawn to any source of light. The major issue is that sometimes the light source is an oncoming vehicles headlights. Sometimes drowsy drivers can slightly veer toward a vehicle coming in the opposite direction, thus causing a major head-on collision. Next time you find yourself possibly becoming distracted by another vehicles headlights, try looking forward and keeping your eyes on the road in front of you.
  • Clean Your Exterior Mirrors
    • Your mirrors are one of the most important safety features on your vehicle, and it is extremely important to keep them clean. If your mirrors are dirty, another vehicles headlights can appear wider and distorted enough to cause a glare in your eyes. Try keeping a towel or some spare napkins in your car to wipe down your mirrors occasionally; this will help keep you and others around you safer in the dark.
  • Keep Your Eyes Healthy
    • Possibly the most important aspect if nighttime driving is your own eyesight. Make sure you’re not straining your eyes at to drive at night. If you find your eyes feeling fatigued, just take a quick moment to glance around at your surroundings or even your dashboard to give them a break for a brief moment. This will help keep your eyes alert and less fatigued. Consult with your eye doctor to make sure your vision is at its healthiest, and to see if you need glasses to assist your eyes when driving.

If your vehicle is damaged in any way from a nighttime incident and in need of repair, contact the members of Your Hometown Body Shop today!

4 Reasons to Trust a Certified Collision Repair Shop

You may think that all body shops are the same. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially if your car requires certified technicians to complete repairs. There are four specific reasons why choosing a certified collision repair shop is your best choice.

Car Crashes No. 1 Killer of Teenagers in US

It’s a rite of passage for every teenager: getting a driver’s license, or at least for many teens these days. Our friends at the Detroit Bureau wrote a very interesting article regarding new drivers and the number one cause of death among teens in the United States.

Part of that ritual is the inevitable lecture from parents about how driving is a big responsibility and that is not to be taken lightly. That sermon comes from a good place, even if most parents don’t fully understand how very important it may be.

According to a new National Safety Council poll, 76% of parents don’t know that the biggest threat to their child’s safety is that 2,500-pound behemoth sitting in the driveway: car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S.

 

“Parents tend to worry most about the things we hear in the news, like cyber bullying and drug and alcohol use,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council.

“But car crashes are the number one killer of teens. Ensuring our most vulnerable drivers safely gain the experience they need will result in more teens attending prom and graduation, not their friends’ funerals.”

While cars, trucks and sport-utes are safer now than ever, drivers face more distractions than ever, which balances out the safety improvements. Teens are especially susceptible to things like texting while driving, talking to other passengers, etc.

A few important points about teens behind the wheel:

  • Other teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44%. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
  • Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.

These points are all representative of one overriding factor: experience or a lack thereof. Teens crash most often because they don’t have the experience to deal with many situations they’ll come across when behind the wheel.

For more information, and the remainder of the article, click here. If you have any questions about your teenage driver and how you can articulate safety behind the wheel, contact any one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop!

Keeping Your Car Looking Great

Your Hometown Body Shop can get your dinged, scratched, broken, and dented cars looks brand new again. Once you get your car back, the last thing you want is to damage it again. Here are 5 tips on keeping your cap looking great and save you money.

  1. Park away from potential scratches. Don’t pull into a parking spot next to the crooked SUV, and keep away from cart return area or where other pedestrians may accidentally scrape your paint while carrying something past.
  2. Drive Defensively. Don’t ride the car in front of you (no matter how slow they’re going). Always try to keep a safe distance of cars to either side of you, and if someone is riding your tail, just move over and let them pass. Aggressive driving is a great way to get into an accident and send your car right back into the body shop, or worse put yourself in danger.
  3. Wash your car. Dust and dirt can damage the paint on a car, especially if left unwashed or washed improperly. Hand washing is always better and use a soft cloth, soap and water starting with the roof on down.
  4. Park in the shade. The heat will soften up your cars paint and leave it more vulnerable to scratches and other damage. The sun can also cause cracking to your car’s interior
  5. Immediately repair cracked windshields. If a crack is under 12 inches, it can usually be repaired without replacing the entire windshield.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you care for your car, accidents do happen. When they do, Hometown Auto Body provides exceptional service. We provide a wide range of auto body repair services. Come visit us at one of our four locations for all of your auto body needs and questions.

Safe Driving Quiz

Are you a safe driver? How well-versed are you with the updated traffic laws (that are ever changing!)? Test your knowledge with the Carwise “Be Car Smart” Safe Driving Quiz. Click the link below to go to the quiz.

Top 7 Causes of Car Collisions

Car Accidents occur every day in the United States. We’ve gathered a list of the top 7 causes of collisions as well as some helpful tips on how to avoid or prevent accidents in connection with those causes.

  1. Drunk Driving: This is the most dangerous and at the same time most avoidable cause of major car accidents. Alcohol impairs judgement and slows reaction time, which are two of the most important things to have when behind the wheel. When you don’t drink and drive you aren’t just saving your own life, but instead saving the lives of others as well. To avoid causing an accident in this case: don’t drink and drive.
  2. Distracted Driving: Distractions are out there now more than ever because of how technology has developed. A major cause of auto accidents now is people either talking, texting, or using their phone in any way while driving. A way to avoid this is to put your phone out of reach while driving, and if you really must use it make sure you are pulled over and out of the way of other motorists.
  3. Not Using Your Turn Signal: Possibly one of the most irritating things that you can experience behind the wheel is someone merging in front of you without using their turn signal. That small moment of carelessness could end up being devastating for your vehicle, you, and potentially anyone else. Turn signals are there for two major reasons: your safety and for the safety of those around you on the road.
  4. Road Rage: Everyone gets angry behind the wheel from time to time, but it is in your best interest to never act on it. It’s not worth it, at all. Keep a calm head if you’re around an aggressive driver. Don’t let their ignorance affect you. Nothing is worth potentially harming you and or your vehicle.
  5. Other Drivers: As an addition to the last tip, letting your guard down while driving can lead to a major accident. Not every driver is ignorant, but then again not every driver is perfect. Always be alert of others around you, and always drive on the defensive side, there is no such thing as being too cautious of other drivers.
  6. Rain: We can’t control the weather, and eventually you’re going to have to drive in the rain. A helpful tip for driving in the rain is to take turns with caution due to the decrease in traction. Another helpful tip is to make sure your lights are on, because the more visible your vehicle is, the less likely you are to be hit by another driver.
  7. Ice: While ice is only around in the winter, it is still one of the leading causes of major accidents. While most roads get salted and plowed during a snow storm, it is better to treat ice like it is there whether it actually is or not. Ways to be safer when encountering ice is to slow down majorly, and give other motorists double the space you would normally give while driving in normal conditions. This way reaction time is increased and collision probability is lowered significantly.

Collisions happen. By being diligent and aware of all your surroundings, you can contribute to a safer driving experience for everyone. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact one of the members of Your Hometown Body Shop.

Ever-Changing Repair Techniques

With the ever changing advanced materials in vehicle designs today, repair techniques are continually evolving. The future is unlimited so rest assured Your Hometown Body Shops stay trained & prepared to handle all your repair needs.

We do offer complementary estimates, however complementary estimates are visual inspections. Because of today’s technically advanced vehicles sometimes a disassembly is required for an accurate blue print. This can reveal the hidden damage need to complete an accurate repair value.

Our end result is to get your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition. That means not only looking great but having the structural integrity and all safety standards that you can’t see met as well.

You can trust Your Hometown Body Shop with all your collision repair needs. We understand the headache involved with a collision and strive to get the job done right the first time.

The Do’s and Don’ts After a Collision

Let’s throw a hypothetical scenario out there.  So you get into an auto accident, regardless of whether it was your fault or not it still happened and now you have some decisions to make. This is a helpful guide to some good and not-so-good things you can do after you find yourself in an auto collision.

Let’s get started:

First off, DON’T ignore what just happened. They say ignorance is bliss, but your car’s well-being is not something that should be ignored. If the damage is minor, even if you can’t see it right away, have a professional take a look at your vehicle before you attempt to drive it again. This is where your local body shop can come in handy. The smallest damage to your vehicle can cause long term effects that can include hindering alignment, reducing gas mileage, and increasing engine wear.

DO stay calm. One of the most important things to remember after an accident is to stay calm. Your local body shop is there to help you no matter what it takes. Their job is not to take your money, in fact a widely shared mentality in the auto-repair industry is that they hope to never see you again! That way they know they did a good job, and you are now safer because of it.

DO take pictures and record all evidence once you are in a safe place, both physically and mentally, to exit your vehicle. Pictures can help both the body shop and insurance agencies assess the damage to your vehicle before it’s moved off the road and to make sure nothing is altered before repairs can be made.

Lastly, DON’T blame yourself because these things happen everyday to the most unsuspecting people; and DON’T ever think you are alone after a collision because there is a network of professionals who are ready and willing to help you and your vehicle get back on the road as quickly and safely as possible!

Your Hometown Body Shop is here to help. You can contact any of our member shops:

Hemlock (989) 642 8749 | Midland (989) 835-5668
Richville (989) 868 3261 | Standish (989) 846-6779

Distracted Driving

Every day, over 8 people are killed and 1,161 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. There are 3 distinctive types of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual distraction is taking your eyes off the road, manual distraction occurs when taking your hands off the wheel, and cognitive distraction is when you take your mind off of driving.

Using a cell phone, texting, and eating are all distracted driving activities. A recent lawsuit involving Snapchat alleges that the speed filter on the app encourages reckless driving.

In the fall of 2015, a teen driver was attempting to get over 100 mph on Snapchat’s speed filter, failing to notice a car pulling onto the highway she was speeding on.

You can read the entire story here.

Focusing on the road and drivers around you is an incredibly important part of driving. When you are distracted, you significantly increase your chances of being in or causing an accident. It is best to avoid all distractions when you get behind the wheel. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Your Hometown Body Shop! You can find our contact information here.

Prepare Your Teen for Safe Driving

Your teen started learning about driving long before you began thinking about learner’s permits, driving classes and teenage driving tips. Children watch their parents’ driving behavior from the back seat, learning how they interact with other drivers, obey traffic laws and avoid distractions. (You’ve been following all the rules, right?!)

Your teen is getting ready to drive and it’s time to talk about more formal driver training. Our friends at AAA can help your family choose the right driving school, talk about proper driving practices, set family rules about safe driving, and offer an abundance of tips to help your child become a safe driver.

Are you ready to help your teen become a safe driver? Take a look at some of the information below to help prepare yourself!

Understanding the Facts & Risks” explains why teens crash—it’s not just from distracted driving or drunk driving. “Licensing Process” walks you through Michigan’s system for getting a driver’s license. “Insurance” details insurance requirements as the teen driving process begins, and the news is probably better than you expect. “Driver Education” helps you understand your state’s specific driver ed requirements and pick the right driving school for your teen. “Key Points for Parents” boils everything down to the simple things that you should be doing now to instill safe driving practices. You and your teen are partners in this process, and “Teen’s Role” lays out some of your teen’s responsibilities.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of the Your Hometown Body Shop partners. And make sure you visit our Teen Drivers Page for helpful information on teen driving in Michigan. We have videos, news & updates, resources, and prizes! http://yourhometownbodyshop.com/teen-drivers/

Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility Program

We are proud to announce that our member shops Kime Collision Corp and Northtown Collision are now part of Ford’s National Certified Repair Facility Program. This certification and recognition places them among the best body shops in the country. It signifies that they have the state-of-the-art training, tools and technology needed to provide their customers with the highest quality end-to-end experience during the repair process. This recognition certifies that these shops have the specialized requirements to repair all Ford vehicles back to manufacturer specifications – including the radically redesigned 2015 F-150, built with innovative, high-strength, military-grade aluminum-alloy.