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.

Driving in the Rain | Your Hometown BodyShop

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 Safety | Your Hometown Body Shop

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!

Towing Service | 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.

Teen Driving | Your Hometown BodyShop

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!

Car Accident | Your Hometown Body Shop

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.

 

Cleaning Your Car | Your Hometown Body Shop

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!

Fender Bender | Your Hometown Body Shop

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!

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.

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