Archive for the ‘Safe Driving Tips’ Category

Spring Car Maintenance Tips

Posted on: March 22nd, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

spring car maintenance tipsWarmer weather has a lot of people realizing the get in, warm up, and go method of getting through winter driving might not cut it anymore. When the temps are low and you have to bundle up to get anywhere, it’s understandable that proactive maintenance on your vehicle occasionally falls off the radar. But now that we’re dealing with slightly more spring-like weather, it’s time to consider some basic spring car maintenance tips to ensure your vehicle is in working order and you’re not in for any unexpected surprises.

The Basics

If you haven’t over the winter (or even if you have!) it’s time to check up on those basics. Make sure your oil levels are good, or schedule an oil change if you’re approaching the mileage or date on that little sticker they give you. Check our air filter (or have them do it when they change your oil) and ensure all the basics are up to par and doing what they need to be.

Wiper Blades

Another one of the key spring car maintenance tips is around your wiper blades. Chances are, those blades have faced some weather this winter. Snow, ice, and rain are all commonplace in a Colorado winter, and the former two can be pretty rough on your wiper blades if you aren’t careful. Check your blades for any signs of wear and tear that might impact your windshield if you keep using them, and if they aren’t performing well or look a little ragged, it might be time to replace them.

Wash and Wax

It’s been cold, it’s been gray, and the idea of taking your car through the wash has been a miserable one. But now you’re dealing with dust, salt, and general grime build up and it’s time to get your vehicle washed and waxed. Left unwashed for too long, salt build-up can cause rust and other damage to your vehicle, so while it may seem like this one is purely cosmetic, it actually does hold some importance when it comes to your car’s ability to function properly. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to have your vehicle looking all spruced up again, either.

Deep Clean Interior

If you’re anything like us, it’s likely that the clutter that normally resides in your car has accumulated over the winter. That’s why, when you get the exterior cleaned up, it’s a good idea to do a deep clean on the interior as well. Spring cleaning shouldn’t just apply to your home, after all. Clear the clutter, vacuum, clean seats as needed and wipe down any surfaces that are looking a little lackluster. Maybe grab a new air freshener or two while you’re at it and next thing you know it’ll feel like you’re driving around in a brand new vehicle all over again.

Get Those Tires Spruced Up

The last of our spring car maintenance tips is about your wheels. Tires typically need some attention after a long winter with fluctuating temperatures and rougher road conditions. First things first, check your pressure. Most vehicles have sensors that will alert you when your tire pressure is low, but it doesn’t hurt to do a manual check after a long winter, either. This is also a good time to get your alignment and suspension checked just in case.

Taking care of your vehicle is always a year-round thing, but as the temps warm up, it’s a good idea to add a few extra things to the typical list so when you start planning those summer road trips, you don’t have to worry!

Most Common Reasons People Fail Driving Tests

Posted on: February 7th, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

Common Reasons People Fail Driving TestsAh, the dreaded driving tests. Whether you’re a teenager just getting your license or an adult taking a test for renewal purposes or any other extenuating circumstance, you might be a little nervous. We live in a world where driving is so often an everyday part of life, from the morning commute to road trip vacations and just running errands around town or meeting up with friends. We drive pretty much everywhere these days, so when the chance that your license might be taken away from you, or not granted at all, comes up, it’s understandably a little nerve-wracking. If you’re worried, consider spending a little extra time studying and practicing for these things – they are the areas where drivers most commonly get tripped up.

Parallel Parking

If you’ve been driving for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed that parallel parking isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever have to do as a driver. Alignment, spatial awareness, and a keen eye for checking those rear view mirrors and blind spots before you go swinging the front end of your vehicle out into a lane that could hold incoming traffic are the keys to success here. Also, spend some time perfecting that moment you need to stop cranking the steering wheel in one direction and start easing it in the other for the A+ worthy parallel parking job of your instructor’s dreams.

Incorrect Use of Signals

Thinking about making that lane change? Better have your blinker on. Same goes for turns. And don’t go using your hazard lights when you need something from your building but don’t feel like finding a viable parking spot so you wind up in the no park zone instead. Incorrectly using your signals, or bad habits built up over time that spill into your testing time won’t do you any good when you’re trying to get your license back. Even if you think you know all the correct ways to use your signals, pre-test is a good time to brush up on that information.

Improper Decision Making at Road Junctions

You’re coming to a stop sign, or a stoplight, or some other junction where you are likely to meet traffic traveling in different directions. There are often a plethora of decisions to be made as you approach such a junction, and you need to know what your plan is well before you arrive at said junction. Often, drivers will fail their test because they didn’t put enough forethought into what their next move was. Or, even worse, once they arrived at the junction, they didn’t obey the traffic laws or made a poor decision that could have dire consequences if exercised in the real world with other drivers outside of the test environment.

Inappropriate Speed

Yeah, you heard that right. We know, we know. “Everyone speeds.” When you’re in a testing environment, paying attention to the speed limits is important, but if you’re used to zooming over those posted limits, you’re not likely to realize you’re doing it in the middle of a test, either. The best way to overcome this is to routinely drive within the speed limits. Those limits are posted for a reason, and you’re not going to win any bonus points with your test administrator for accelerating well beyond them.

It’s easy to get tripped up when it comes to getting tested in order to receive or maintain your driver’s license, but if you study up, drive defensively and with caution, paying attention to your surroundings at all times and the laws of the road, you should have no trouble passing with flying colors. If you’re heading into a test soon, good luck! We hope to see you (safe and sound) on the road soon.

How to Stay Safe on the Roads When They Get Icy

Posted on: December 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

stay safe on icy roadsStay Safe on Icy Roads

Winters in Colorado are pretty unpredictable, but you can almost always count on one thing: ice. Whether it’s a snow that melted before the sun went down and the temperature dropped or a byproduct of packed snow melting and freezing repeatedly, or any number of reasons, at least once a winter you can almost be guaranteed to run into icy roads. Granted, icy roads are the major contributor to our auto body shop, but we do want you to always be safe out there. So how do you stay safe on icy roads and still get where you need to go? Here are some tips.

Safety First

It might seem silly, but it is worth repeating. The best way to stay safe on icy roads is to stay off of them. If you can avoid travel, just stay put until the threat has passed. If that’s not an option, take caution. Drive carefully, and reducing your typical speed is not a bad idea, especially as you’re approaching stop lights or turns. It’s tricky business, driving on icy roads, and no matter what vehicle you’re driving, you’re susceptible to potential loss of control and crashes. So above all, take it slow, take it easy, and be prepared for the unexpected.

Heading Uphill

Heading uphill on snowy and icy roads is all about momentum. You’ll want to build some momentum before you start ascending and avoid having to hit the gas as you go uphill to keep your wheels from spinning. Then, once you reach the top of the hill, slow down as safely as you can as you descend the other side, using your breaks carefully to avoid skidding out of control due to loss of traction.

What to Do When You Skid

Sometimes, the skid is unavoidable. If you start to skid on an icy road, your first instinct may be to slam or pump the breaks. Ignore that instinct. Slamming or pumping your breaks as you skid out of control will only make things worse and send your car spinning, making it extremely dangerous to you and other drivers. Instead, steer your vehicle in the direction you want it to go. This should help the vehicle correct course without getting too far out of hand.

There’s really no getting around the fact that driving on icy roads is dangerous business. Make sure your car is stocked up with blankets, water, food, flashlights, and chargers in the event that you get stuck and are unable to get immediate help. Ice, especially black ice, is hard to see coming, so when the weather turns wintery, it’s best to keep caution in mind if you have to be out on the roads. And again, whenever possible, rearrange plans to avoid travel on icy days. If you can’t avoid a crash on the icy roads, know that your expert team at Accurate Auto Body will be here to help you get back on the road safely and quickly.

Best Practices for Visibility in the Winter Months

Posted on: November 15th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter visibilityDriving in the winter is an inevitability. Whether you’re traveling for the holidays, commuting to work, or just, you know, getting out of the house, it’s gonna happen. No matter how badly you wish you could stay curled up next to your fireplace all winter long, we all have to get out there on the road eventually. And when you do, there’s a good chance you’ll hit some potential for reduced visibility at least once. Here are some of our best tips for increasing visibility in various situations (and hopefully avoid the need for auto body repair).

Headlights

Make sure your headlights are in working order. It’s that time of year again where things get darker earlier and by the time you’re heading home from the office the sun is more and more likely to be set. So checking your headlights to make sure everything is running smoothly is an important part of winter road visibility. Also knowing, confidently, how to switch between high beams and low beams is a good thing to have down pat before it gets crazy. There are situations where the high beams will come in handy, like if you’re driving in the country where there’s little external light after the sun has set, so knowing how to switch them on without taking your eyes off the road is important.

Keep Those High Beams Off

While there are situations where the high beams come in handy, it’s important to note that there are very few winter weather conditions where they will come in handy. In fact, in fog and snow, they are likely to make the problem worse. If you’re trying to run your high beams during a snowy day, you’re likely to get the light reflected off the snowflakes right back into your eyes, which only makes it harder to see ANYTHING, let alone the chunk of road in front of you and the bit of your surroundings you need to make smart driving decisions.

Keep Windows Clear

Walking outside to a car covered in snow can undeniably be a pain in the butt. We get it, but taking the time to fully clear all of your windows before getting on the road is a pretty big deal. Even a small amount of snow left on the sides of your window can decrease your visibility in crucial blind spots, making it more dangerous than you might think. It’s also a good idea, as we mentioned in a previous post, to make sure your defroster and climate control are working well to keep the windows from fogging up during the drive. Ensure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition and reaching all parts of the windshield as well so you can avoid accumulation of any white fluffy stuff that may be falling while you drive.

Visibility while driving is crucial year-round, it just so happens that the list of visibility enemies is a little longer in the winter. Add in the slightly more precarious nature of the roads in general when winter weather strikes and the reasons for keeping yourself as safe as possible is apparent. What are your best winter driving visibility tips?

How Windshield Wipers Impact Your Safety on the Road

Posted on: October 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

winter windshield wipersTips for Winter Windshield Wipers

Getting ready for winter is on just about everybody’s mind right now. Between turning on heaters, watching the forecast for snow, and switching out those tires for your heavier-duty winter ones, there’s plenty to pay attention to when it comes to preparing your home and car for the colder months. One thing most people don’t really think about until it’s a problem (and that’s the worst time to have to think about it!) is windshield wipers. It’s easy to forget that they might not be ready for winter weather until you’re stuck with a patch of snow in your line of sight and suddenly staying on the road has become dangerous and….hello auto body repair. Are there windshield wipers that are better suited for winter conditions? The short answer is yes, but here are some things to consider.

Standard Wipers

It’s easy to choose just any old wiper when you’re in a milder climate or if you bought the wipers when the weather was balmy and beautiful, but when ice and snow enter the mix, it’s important to consider whether or not your wipers have hinges. If they do, are the hinges covered? Even better, is there a hingeless option? A lot of standard wipers have hinges, and that’s where things can start to get a little dicey.

Watch for Ice and Snow Buildup

Hinges on a windshield wiper are the perfect place for snow and ice to build up. At a certain point, the ice and snow buildup restricts the wipers’ ability to contour to the windshield’s shape and starts to miss spots, leaving your vision on the road impaired.

Hingeless Wipers

If you want to go premium, hingeless wipers are a great option. Rather than the traditional metal frame, hingeless wipers are made with flexible plastic that holds the rubber wiper. They are a little pricier, but they are the longest lasting option for a wiper that will hold up against whatever winter throws at it. That being said, hingeless is not your only option when it comes to windshield wipers that can handle winter weather.

Winter Wipers

The main difference between a standard wiper and one that is winter-ready is simple. On a winter wiper, the entire construction, frame and all, is covered by a thin rubber boot. When it starts to get dicey outside, the boot helps prevent buildup and allows the wiper to move as it should across the windshield. You do have to watch for tears in the rubber casing as it can sometimes be delicate. if snow and ice get under it, the metal frame may corrode and freeze up.

It’s not imperative that you have winter-ready windshield wipers, but since snow and ice are pretty common visitors throughout the Colorado winter, it’s worth exploring. Without them, you are much more likely to face buildup and greatly increase your risk of visibility issues. And let’s be honest, winter driving poses enough challenge without the added mess of not being able to see where you’re going clearly.

In Your Eyes – Best Ways to Beat Sun Glare

Posted on: September 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

beat sun glareWe’ve all had it happen – driving home during rush hour or out running errands, even on a long road trip, the sun is at just the right angle and suddenly you’re momentarily blinded by the light. Sun glare is no joke, and it can be extremely dangerous to you and others on the road. In fact, we do auto body repair on a lot of cars that are victims of sun glare. If you’ve been bothered by it time and time again and find yourself wondering how to kick it to the curb, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help beat sun glare or, at the very least, keep it to a minimum when you can’t get rid of it completely.

Sunglasses

One of the best ways to beat sun glare while you’re driving is to have a pair of polarized sunglasses handy. They block out the glare and keep those UV rays from harming your eyes. A win-win, and the most fashionable and portable of the sun glare-beating options.

Clean Windshield

While this one won’t stop sun glare entirely, it will help lessen the effects. A dirty windshield makes visibility while driving harder on multiple levels, and it definitely makes sun glare even worse than normal. Keeping your windshield clean (cleaner than the spray and swipe of the windshield wipers on the go) will help keep you safer on the road and allow for increased visibility across multiple scenarios, including pesky sun glare.

Handy Dandy Sun Visor

Hey, those little visors are in your car for a reason, and it’s not just to check your teeth in the mirror at stoplights. Sun visors can help block out the sun when it’s at some of its more problematic spots in the sky. It can’t cover all the bases, but it will certainly help increase visibility when you need it most.

There are plenty of hazards on the road, and a lot of the worst ones are out of your control. So when you have the opportunity to increase not only your safety, but the safety of those around you on the road, you want to be prepared to take it! These tips can help keep sun glare at bay without doing anything drastic, but if you find yourself in the aftermath of a wreck, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 303-344-2212. We’re the local experts in auto body repair and can help you get back on the road as quickly as possible.

Be Alert! Kids Are Back to School

Posted on: September 11th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

back to school driving tipsBack To School Driving Tips

The kids are back to school, another year of learning has commenced, and if you haven’t noticed already, traffic patterns have changed. Those blinking lights in school zones have come back on, buses are everywhere, and so are the little ones. To keep everyone safe, we thought it would be a good time to revisit some of the top back to school driving tips for parents and teen drivers alike.

Respect the Bus

Perhaps the biggest back to school driving safety rule is to always adhere to the blinking lights and stop signs on the big yellow school buses. Not only is it illegal not to stop when a bus has its lights blinking and its stop sign out, it’s necessary to keep kids safe. When a bus driver stops at a designated stop, children exiting the bus may be crossing the road, and some may go around the bus to do so. By staying put until that stop sign retracts and the lights stop flashing, you’re helping save lives and letting kids feel safe as they make their way home after school.

Adhere to School Safety Zone Limits

When you’re in the middle of rush hour and you’re trying to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time, we get it, those slow down signs in school zones are frustrating. But really, it’s all about safety. In a school zone, there’s an increased chance of a child running across a street to get to school on time, or when a parent might be slowing down to get to a safe space to drop their little one off. Slowing down and being alert is key to making sure everyone gets to school and work safely. Just consider it a little extra time to rock out to your favorite jams in the car.

Practice Car Pool Safety

If you’re carpooling (a great idea in Colorado, we highly recommend it!), it’s important to make sure all your carpool members are following the rules of the road. The biggest box to check here is seat belts buckled, which should be easy as long as you’re not over-filling your carpool roster (another box to check – two semi-full cars is better than one over-filled one).

How to Use This Information

Safety is always important on the roads, but when school starts back up, there are a few added hazards and things to look out for. Just stay alert and follow the law to keep everyone safe and happy. And, if you should have need of any auto body repair, keep us in mind. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online. We’d be happy to help.

Colorado Texting Law – What You Need To Know

Posted on: June 27th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

colorado texting lawDistracted driving has caused a tragic number of deaths in recent years, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting 3,477 deaths from distracted driving in 2015 alone. Sadly, as an auto body repair shop, we see first-hand some of the damage related to distracted driving. With the ever-increasing presence of smartphones in our daily lives, the number of people texting and driving has escalated to a terribly dangerous degree. In order to combat this, a new Colorado texting law has recently passed increasing the penalty for first-time offenders caught texting and driving. The law increases the fine from $50 and one point against your record to $300 and four points. That’s a pretty steep hike, and for good reason. Governor Hickenlooper, prior to signing the bill into law, had been outspoken about the need for fewer distracted drivers.

New Colorado Texting Law – How it Impacts You

Understanding the origination of the bill is an important part of knowing how it will impact you and the lives of others. The original bill was brought forward by victims of distracted driving accidents and their families and initially proposed a $500 fine. After some push and pull the $300 fine brought enough lawmakers on board to pass through the state House and Senate.

The new law hopes to act as a deterrent for potentially distracted drivers while also motivating police officers to pull over people who are texting and driving more frequently. The combination of these two things could mean several things for you. If you’re a habitual phone user, even while driving, it’s time to put down the screen and focus on the road.

If you’ve already sworn off phone usage on the road, this law is only good news for you. Under the new law, technically, drivers can text at red lights or while stopped in traffic if they are also paying attention to their surroundings. However, if a police officer is around and deems your texting, even at a red light or while stopped in traffic, to be careless, they have every right to pull you over and issue a ticket. And, remember that the Colorado texting law is not just about texting, per se. It is about distracted driving resulting from the smartphone. As a covered before, even fiddling with your phone to change music while driving can equate to distracted driving and therefore, you can be fined.

One of the biggest impacts this bill brings to drivers is the four points against your license, up from the previous one. If the financial impact of a $300 fine isn’t enough to get drivers off their phones, it’s worth considering that four points are 1/3 of the 12 points required to suspend your license. For that severe of an impact, phone usage and distracted driving are habits worth breaking.

Safety While Driving

The bill’s main goal is to increase safety on the roads and in the Denver metro area, a hub with increasingly dense population, safer roads are nothing to scoff at. Putting down the phone and focusing on the drive ahead of you could save your life and the lives of others, so this is one bill to take to heart.

How to Use this Information

Though the new texting law will hopefully keep more drivers safe on the roads, sometimes there’s just no avoiding an accident. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a collision and don’t know where to go, Accurate Auto Body in Aurora has your back. Give us a call at 303-344-2212 or contact us online and we can get you road-ready again in no time.

Distracted Driving: Music Devices While Driving

Posted on: May 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

music devices while drivingWe all know that texting and driving is a big no. We also know that taking a call while driving can be a distraction. But, what about music devices while driving? As your local Aurora, Colorado auto body shop, we have seen a lot of cars come into the shop as a result of distracted driving, and that includes people fiddling with their tunes.

Types of Driving Distractions

Driving distractions fall three categories, any of which can result in accidents and being at fault.

  • Visual: Anything that takes your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Anything that takes your hands off the steering wheel
  • Cognitive: Anything that takes your mind off of concentrating on driving

With texting, it is pretty easy to see that it impacts all three distractions. You see you have a text and read it, so you take your eyes off the road. You grab your phone, taking your hands off the wheel. You then concentrate on the text, so your mind is not focused. Before you know it, you have traveled the half a length of a football in a matter of seconds without looking up from your phone.

Music Devices While Driving = Danger

If you are like many of us, you use your mobile device to stream your music in the car. And, depending on your vehicle, it may seamlessly integrate with your phone so you can have better control of your tunes through the car’s existing stereo consul.

But, it can still be very distracting. For example, you may have Spotify and while driving, it may strike you that you do not have the Bieber Fever. So, you go to the phone or consul to pull up a playlist or artist you are more interested in. In doing so you have removed a hand from the wheel, taken your eyes off the road, and are now thinking about what you would rather listen too. Then, bam, it hits you that you want to listen to that famous band of yesteryear, Crash Test Dummies.

Distracted driving is distracted driving. Even if you were not “texting” the danger is still the same if fiddling with your music devices while driving.

Setting up Your Tunes to Avoid Distraction

Before hitting the road, take a moment to set up your music and make sure you have the right playlist going. Also, make sure you familiarize yourself with your music app and how it integrates with your car’s stereo systems. Some cars allow you to control such apps as Pandora simply by using the radio preset buttons on the car’s consul.

The fact is, some studies show that playing music in the car can help you focus while driving. But sometimes, you may just have to grin and bear it through that song that you may not be into, versus pulling up your phone or iPod and clicking over to another artist, playlist or Pandora station. Remember cassettes or the radio? Sometimes you just had to ride it out until you got to the good songs. But, at least you weren’t distracted and you were more focused on the road.

How to Use this Information

Here at Accurate Auto Body, we want you to stay safe. And, we all know you like your tunes while driving. Just take a moment before driving to get your songs set up so you are not trying to do so while driving down the road at 65 miles per hour. But, if you should happen to get into an accident and need auto body repair, we can help. Call us at 303-344-2212 or contact us online.

How to Drive Defensively

Posted on: April 17th, 2017 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

defensive drivingDefensive Driving Tips

We are willing to bet, that since drivers education in high school, you have had the term “defensive driving” pounded into your head. Despite this, there are still a lot of crazy drivers out there who adopt offensive driving. After all, they are the reason for many accidents and why we are still employed as an auto body repair shop. But, we want all of you staying safe on the road, so we put together some defensive driving tips. And, no, none of them include driving with Von Miller in your passenger seat. Sorry.

Keep Focused

Defensive drivers have a couple of things in common. They stay focused on the road while keeping their hands at a 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position. The two, actually, go hand in hand. When you have both hands on the wheel, you automatically adopt a more alert posture and focus on the road. With both hands on the wheel, it is not possible to:

  • Eat or drink
  • Shave (yes, we have seen this)
  • Text
  • Apply make-up
  • Hold a dog (again, yes, we have seen this be the cause of several accidents)

Keep Your Eyes Moving

Things on the road can happen very quickly. So, you need to be aware of, and process, multiple hazards at the same time. A good defensive driving tip is to keep your eyes moving to check the mirrors and scan the road ahead so you can anticipate problems.

The Two-Second Rule

When it comes to defensive driving tips, we see this one a lot. Keep and maintain a safe distance between cars, especially while in heavy traffic. To do this, adopt a two-second rule by finding an object on the road. Then, count “one Mississippi, two Mississippi” when the car in front of you passes the object. If you pass the same object before you complete “two Mississippi”, you will want to slow down.

Go With the Flow

Speeding is definitely against the law and causes a lot of accidents. But, going too slow can also create accidents. So, you will want to make sure you are driving at about the same pace as the rest of the traffic. And, if you have multiple lanes, only use the left lane for passing.

Be Seen

A lot of accidents are simply because drivers don’t see the other car. So, to be seen, do the following:

  • Turn Signals: Indicate where you wish to go so other drivers slow down and anticipate you turning.
  • Headlights: A dusk, it is a good idea to turn on your lights or anytime you are dealing with rain or snow. In fact, in some states, it is the law to turn your lights on when your windshield wipers are in operation.
  • Brake Lights: Seems like common sense, but you need to make sure your brake lights are working.
  • Avoid Blind Spots: Do not linger in other drivers’ blind spots.

How to Use This Information

We hope this information helps you stay safe out there from all the crazy drivers! But, should you need us, we are here for you and will work to get your car looking like new. Call 303-344-2212 or contact us online.