Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keeping children safe in crashes: Overview

For parents of all children

More than 1,000 children 12 and younger die in passenger vehicles crashes every year, and more than 100,000 are injured. Parents can reduce the risk to their kids by properly securing them in the back seats. 

The "Keeping Children Safe In Crashes" series of videos help parents choose the right type of restraint for their child's age and size and provide general information on installation and use. 

More information at http://www.iihs.org/research/topics/children.html

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SUVs and pickups pose less risk to people in crashes

IIHS news release • September 28, 2011

Effort to make SUVs, pickups less deadly to car occupants in crashes is paying off

ARLINGTON, VA - Today's SUVs and pickups pose far less risk to people in cars and minivans than previous generations, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Until recently, SUVs and pickups were more likely than cars or minivans of the same weight to be involved in crashes that killed occupants of other cars or minivans. That's no longer the case for SUVs, and for pickups the higher risk is much less pronounced than it had been.

Full text of release at http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr092811.html

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 TOP SAFETY PICK winners

IIHS news release • December 15, 2011

115 winners of 2012 TOP SAFETY PICK: Stronger roofs lead to another record year for award

The list of winners of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's TOP SAFETY PICK award is longer than ever this year, with vehicles in nearly every size category the Institute evaluates earning accolades. From minicars to sedans to pickups, consumers have a record number of choices among 2012 models.

Full text of release at http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr121511.html

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ferrari Fleet Ruined in Pricey Japan Pile-up

Eight Ferraris and a Lamborghini were among the vehicles involved in a chain collision of luxury cars on a Japanese expressway Sunday. They'd been heading to a motor festival in Hiroshima. (Dec. 5)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Defensive Driving Tips: How To Avoid An Accident

Driving is a part of virtually every American's life. We often take for granted our skills as a motorist, because if we have never had an accident then we must be perfectly safe on the road. This unsound reasoning is the basis for far too many car, truck or motorcycle crashes, and since humans are creatures of habit changes to our routines, judgments and outlook only come after a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, when dealing with something as catastrophic as a vehicle collision, the wisdom only comes after an experience, and when dealing with objects that smash together at great velocities with flammable fuel, second chances are rare.
That's why it's important to learn the principles, theory and practice of defensive driving before you hit the road or get behind the wheel. In fact, the very name of the idea evokes its nature: it's defensive. Designed to protect or deflect. Defensive driving is defined as "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others." That is a pretty clear explanation, but what tactics can the average person use to ensure they are operating their conveyance in the maximally safe fashion?
  • The two second rule. This notion is intended to give drivers a way to estimate safe distances between cars when traveling at speed. By using a landmark, such as a telephone pole, streetlight or any other regularly occurring feature, a driver can judge how long the distance is between their vehicle and the one in front of them, and give them enough time to brake should an accident occur. It also helps reduce tailgating and rear-end collisions.
  • Pay attention on the road. Distracted driving is dangerous driving. There are dozens upon dozens of variables on an average highway, street or interstate, and failing to account for even a tiny one can result in unfathomable tragedy, crashes, and even death. Watch out for pedestrians at intersections, children walking on sidewalks, or even the unpredictable actions of other drivers.
  • Adapt to road conditions. Driving at night, in inclement weather, or around accidents require split second judgment and reactions. When you are aware of these situations, you can better react. Also stay calm and focused. Use headlights, turn signals, hazard indicators and your horn in order to maintain a safe presence.
  • Maintain your vehicle. Check your tires, belts, hoses, lamps and brakes on a regular basis. Most people who are involved in vehicle accidents never think that they will be the offending party responsible for the chaos that follows. Many of these people failed to appropriately maintain their vehicles, and some breakdown of machinery or loose piece of equipment can doom so many people to suffering agonizing injuries, destroyed property, and shattered lives.
Ultimately, it is up to everyone that operates a vehicle, be it motorcycle, automobile, big rig or whatever internal combustion powered mechanism of choice to be as safe as possible on the road. Unfortunately, few people take defensive driving to heart, and accidents still occur. If it happens to you, and you are the victim of a motorist that did not drive defensively, you need to know that you have the right to take them to court and get the justice you deserve.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/571798

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Safe Driving Is Your Responsibility - Accident Avoidance Tips

Drivers today are very distracted. Facebook, Twitter, email - there are so many things to keep you distracted while driving. But if you are doing any of these while driving you are not practicing safe driving habits and it can cost you.
You don't need to take an accident avoidance training course to understand that those things can wait. It is not worth losing your life or causing a wreck that kills someone else so you can "Like" your friend's new status update.
The same thing with texting while driving. It is dangerous and can cost you your life, especially when you are going 70 miles per hour on the highway. It doesn't take much to lose control of the vehicle and cause a multi car wreck.
Then you can be facing a lawsuit for causing personal injuries to the other driver and passengers. Their lawyers will have a strong case because they can subpoena your phone records and see that you were texting right before the accident. That is a case you will lose and it can cost you.
You can practice safe driving by pulling over to the side of the road and send your messages if you must. Or wait until you get to your destination to check your email, Facebook, or Twitter. Nothing is worth losing your life or causing someone else to lose theirs over your recklessness.
Believe it or not, you can live without Facebook.
Another accident avoidance tip is to keep your eyes on the road and looking ahead at traffic and what's coming up. By keeping your eyes on the road and away from the radio, phone or your comb, you can anticipate an oncoming car turning or be able to step on the brakes if the car in front of needs to brake.
The next accident avoidance tip is to keep your hands on the wheel. Driving with your knees or any other body part is foolish. You need at least one hand on the wheel at all times. You never know when a stray dog will run out in front of you or you have to swerve to avoid a car merging into your lane incorrectly.
Double check your blind spots to make sure it is ok to chance lanes is another crash avoidance tip to remember. After you check your mirrors, do a quick head check to make sure no one is in the lane you want to get into. Many sideswipe accidents occur when drivers rely on just their mirrors to make sure there is no vehicle there.
One last safe driving tip is to sign up for a defensive driving course. Not only will you get a refresher on accident avoidance tips but you can also save money on your auto insurance.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6599281

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tips on Why Wheel Alignment Is Important

It takes only a small misalignment to create problems with your vehicle, which is why proper wheel alignment is important. Simply put, all of components that make your vehicle go straight are called alignment. Misalignment can be caused by many factors including merely driving your vehicle. Potholes can be common culprits. A sizable pothole can bump your suspension out of the precisely calculated set of measurements that dictate proper wheel alignment.
Why is wheel alignment important?
Improper wheel alignment can effect driving performance as well as cost you money. Total alignment sets all four wheels positioned straight ahead and parallel. The following are benefits of wheel alignment:
o Improves gas mileage. In the recent economy and a year of outrageous gas prices, everyone is looking to better their gas mileage to save money. By having your vehicle aligned properly, it decreases any resistance while rolling which increases your gas mileage. It is also important to make sure that your tires are properly inflated as this will help gas mileage as well.
o Reduces tire wear. Premature tire wear can be costly. One of the signs of wheel misalignment is excessive or uneven tire wear. If your vehicle is not aligned properly, your tires can show wear more quickly due to their not rolling straight and being dragged in the wrong direction. You will have to replace them more often, costing you more. Proper alignment can save you money in the long run.
o Improves the handling of your vehicle. Other signs of improper alignment pertain to the handling of our vehicle. These signs can be if your steering wheel pulls to the left or right, if it is not centered when driving straight ahead or if it vibrates or shimmies. Steering wheel vibration can also indicate tire wear or if they have not been inflated properly. While driving, your vehicle can also have a feeling of looseness or wandering. All of these signs can be corrected with total alignment which can absorb any road shock and provide a smoother ride.
o Improves safety. Proper wheel alignment can help you drive more safely by improving steering and tracking problems. The improved handling and control of your vehicle can help you prevent or avoid accidents.
Why is four-wheel alignment recommended?
Simply put, your front wheels "steer" or drive the vehicle while the rear wheels "direct" the vehicle. Four-wheel alignment solves handling problems by referencing all four wheels to a common centerline.
Yearly maintenance is recommended.
Regular vehicle maintenance is recommended for optimal operation of your vehicle and its safety. It is important that you follow the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations listed in your owner's manual, however as a general rule your wheel alignment and tire check up should be scheduled every 10,000 miles or at least once per year.
Often a suspension system inspection can be included as a part of this regular maintenance. This inspection can allow your ASE Certified Technician to spot potential problems or worn parts now before they become costly problems later.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3693329

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hybrid Models Have Lower Injury Risk

IIHS news release • November 17, 2011

Hybrid models have lower injury odds than their conventional counterparts

Hybrids have a safety edge over their conventional twins when it comes to shielding their occupants from injuries in crashes, new research by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, shows. On average, the odds of being injured in a crash are 25 percent lower for people in hybrids than people traveling in nonhybrid models.

Full text of release at http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr111711.html

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Safety consequences of vehicle size and weight

New crash tests demonstrate the influence of vehicle size and weight on safety in crashes; results are relevant to fuel economy policies

ARLINGTON, VA — Three front-to-front crash tests, each involving a microcar or minicar into a midsize model from the same manufacturer, show how extra vehicle size and weight enhance occupant protection in collisions. These Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests are about the physics of car crashes, which dictate that very small cars generally can't protect people in crashes as well as bigger, heavier models.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

2011 TOP SAFETY PICK award winners

IIHS news release • December 22, 2010

66 winners of 2011 Top Safety Pick award; automakers quickly improve roofs to boost rollover protection

ARLINGTON, VA — Sixty-six vehicles earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick award for 2011, including 40 cars, 25 SUVs, and a minivan. Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also must have available electronic stability control, a crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk. The ratings help consumers pick vehicles that offer a higher level of protection than federal safety standards require.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Essential Emergency Items and Preparation For Your Winter Roadtrip

Whether it's to visit family or friends in the next town or the next state, many Americans will be hitting the road around the holidays. Winter is a much more dangerous time to drive long distances but there are many things you can do to prepare for a long winter roadtrip and to increase your chances of reaching your destination without a problem.
Basic Check-Up
Before you leave on your roadtrip, it's important for you to check the basics of your vehicle. Some of the most important elements to check are the tire pressure, the antifreeze, the oil, spare tire and the wiper blades.
Plan Your Route
Prepare the safest route to your destination possible, but allow for a secondary option as well. Wherever you're going, be sure to let someone at home and at your destination know when you leave, what your route will be and what time you think you should be there. You should usually drive slower in the winter and if at all possible, take only major highways and roads. Never try to take shortcuts during the winter, especially in the snow.
You will also want to check the weather where you are currently, along your route and at your destination.
Emergency Supplies
Basic auto supplies should be taken along such as jumper cables, chains, jack and even an extra quart of oil. A gas can will also be handy if you have room for it. If you are driving somewhere you haven't been before, be sure to pick up some road maps.
A basic first aid kit, flares, blankets, matches or lighter, flashlight with extra batteries and shovel are also good additions to your safety kit. A shovel will be handy if you find you need to dig your vehicle out of the snow.
Food & Water
If you get stuck in snow or your vehicle simply breaks down, you will need to have extra food and water. Pack enough bottles of water for a couple days at least. Also, food supplies like energy or nutrition bars are a great idea. You can find a case of nutritious energy bars at the wherehouse clubs like Costco at bulk prices.
Great technology devices to have on hand include a GPS device to make sure you don't get lost, extended range walkie talkies and a hand crank cellular phone charger along with your cell phone.
Cold Weather Clothing
Everyone on the trip should have some extra warm clothing available in case they get wet. In addition to jackets and warm tops, things like gloves, scarves and hats will also be important to keep the cold at bay.
If you're stuck in your vehicle due to the weather for very long, you might want to have some handheld games, MP3 player, books, crossword puzzle books or other activities on hand for you or the kids. Some disposable hand warmers are also an excellent idea.
Using these tips and preparing well for your trip, you and your family should reach your destination without a problem.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/396305

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How To Stay Safe Driving in Fog

When you run into fog on the road, keep your head and follow these simple tips to stay safe.

To complete this How-To you will need:

A cool head

Step 1: Slow down

Leave plenty of room between yourself and the car ahead of you.

Tip: Don't panic and try to speed out of the fog. Remain calm, and focus on the road.

Step 2: Turn lights on

Turn your lights on to help others see you. Use your low beams, since high beams reflect back at you in fog.

Step 3: Turn on wipers and defroster

Use your windshield wipers and defroster to keep your windows clear.

Tip: Turn off the radio and open your window so you can hear other cars more easily.

Step 4: Signal early and brake gently

Give other drivers plenty of notice before you turn. Brake gently, not suddenly, so drivers behind you have time to react.

Step 5: Watch your speed

Watch your speedometer so your speed won't creep up; it's harder to judge distances and speed in the fog.

Step 6: Stay on track

Stay in your lane, as drivers tend to drift toward the middle of the road in fog.

Tip: Watch for animals. In fog, deer and other animals are harder to see and are more likely to jump out in front of you.

Step 7: Rely on yourself

Focus on the road, not the car ahead. Don't follow other drivers, who may drift into oncoming lanes or off the road.

Step 8: Pull off if you have to

If the fog is too thick, pull onto the shoulder of the road until it lifts. Turn on your hazard lights so other drivers will know you are stopped.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tips for Safe Driving During the Holidays

Every year during the holiday season TV, radio, newspapers and others talk a lot about the hazards of drunk driving and remind us to be careful. Extra police are on the streets and many cities set up sobriety checkpoints to catch drunk drivers on nights when there are likely to be more parties.

This extra focus reduces the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents and makes all of us safer on the road during the holidays. Drunk drivers aren't the only hazard on the road during the holidays, though. While most of us would never dream of getting behind the wheel drunk, we could still be creating serious dangers without thinking about it.

Holiday Madness

Juggling normal responsibilities with shopping, parties, and extra school events can make a normally safe driver a literal wreck. Even if you are always calm and collected, remember that other drivers may be more on edge than usual and take these precautions.

*Be extra patient and make allowances for other people and the mistakes they make. Don't forget to watch out for pedestrians as well as other drivers.

*Try to keep your attention on what you are doing. Not only could they cause you to make a mistake, but cell phones, eating and other distractions keep you from paying attention to other people and the silly errors they can make.

*Be especially careful in parking lots crammed with cars and pedestrians at this time of year. Take it a little slower than normal to avoid fender benders or worse.

*Take note of your emotions and consider taking a break if you get too stressed out, irritated or emotional. Get a cup of coffee or tea and relax for 10 minutes before you dive back in to the frenzy.

Holiday Fatigue

Another danger that is often forgotten, but also a huge problem during this hectic time of year, is driving while drowsy. Falling asleep at the wheel is obviously the most dangerous result, but tired drivers also tend to be more irritable and impatient.

This year like normal there will no doubt be many people who leave work on Friday and start out on long-distance trips to be with family or friends. College students whose holiday break begin after classes on Friday may be headed home as well.

Here are some recommendations you should consider and pass along to family members and friends who may be traveling by car during the holidays:

*Don't start your journey tired. Be aware of the risks if you get up unusually early to start your trip or leave directly from work or school when you are tired.

*Plan your trip to include a 15-minute break every two hours.

*Make sure that you and everyone on your trip is carrying emergency contact information and valid identification.

*Share the driving if possible. Safety experts recommend switching off every three hours.

*You're too tired to drive if you start drifting from your lane, hitting rumble strips, yawning repeatedly, having difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open, missing road signs or tailgating.
Pull over to a safe place as soon as possible, drink a high caffeine drink and take a 15-minute nap.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/870430

Saturday, November 5, 2011

How To Tell If Your Car Needs New Tires

Is there anything more poetic than the allure of the open road? Scenery flashing by as the endless miles of the highway unfurl before, picturesque villages chanced upon almost by accident, the squeal of rubber and protesting metal as tires that should have been replaced months before lose their grip on a treacherous mountain turn...

Melodrama aside, properly maintained tires can save your life. Although tire rotation as part of a regular preventative maintenance plan can dramatically help to extend tire life, the fact remains that at some point you will have to replace your tires.

There's an old saying that you have to spend money to make money. In the case of maintaining your vehicle, it's really more of a case of spending money to save money. Paradoxical? Perhaps, but it's the truth.

Driving on old, worn tires drains the cash from your bank account in two ways. First, a tire that is near the end of it's life doesn't hold air as well as a new tire does. This means burning more gas than you would normally have to. Second, worn down treads mean less grip, and that means your brakes have to work harder than is optimal. This results in having to replace brake pads before their proper time.

Rather than costing money, knowing when to purchase new tires may actually help you to conserve your cash flow. Knowing exactly when to buy can help with this.

There is no simple formula when it comes to making this decision. You could take the car's mileage and use it to figure out when you should need new tires, but this is not always a good indicator. Different drivers have different driving habits, and this may lead to unusual wear patterns on the tread. It's better to use indicators that are not so linked to time or distance driven.

One of the most common clues that your vehicle is due for new tires is when handling changes for the worse. It can actually be a very minor difference, but if it is a vehicle you drive often you won't have any trouble noticing. If steering takes more effort than it used to, or if driving through even shallow puddles starts your car hydroplaning, then it is probably time for new tires.

Another good way to tell is by periodically examining the Treadwear Indicator (TWI) bumps located in the bottom of the tread. Look for small raised lumps in the bottom of the treads. They can often be found by looking for a TWI marking on the tire where the tread and sidewall meet.

If the TWI bumps are below the tread across the whole width of the tire, then you are probably OK for the time being, assuming you haven't noticed any steering or handling problems. However, if the TWI indicators are flush with the surface of the tire, even on only one part of the tread, then it's definitely time for new tires.

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And it's usually less expensive.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/216515

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Car Seats 101

Cars.com's Dave Thomas and Jennifer Newman explain the basics of how to use car seats properly.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Less Daylight, More Auto Accidents

The End of Daylight Savings Time Increases Road Hazards

With the end of daylight savings time comes an increase of darkness around the time of rush hour, when traffic is at a peak. Drivers aren't used to the decreased visibility - and neither for that matter are pedestrians, who might take chances crossing roads when they shouldn't. Wrongful death cases as a result of auto accidents are a strong possibility when you have all these elements working together.

The National Road Safety Foundation has done studies proving that auto accidents increase after the clocks fall back an hour. Besides the lack of visibility, the NRSF notes that commuting in the dark can also make drivers drowsier than usual.

"Drowsy driving is a significant factor in traffic crashes. The risk increases as daylight savings time ends and we spend more time driving at night," says the NRSF's David Reich. "Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving."

Studies show 60 percent of U.S. motorists have driven while fatigued - resulting in many personal injury and wrongful death situations. A CNN report estimated that pedestrians walking at dusk after the time switch are three times more likely to be hit by a car.

Obviously, daylight savings time is not going to be abolished - and obviously, even if it were, there would still be hours less of daylight due to the approach of winter. Therefore, it's important for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of the heightened danger that more darkness creates for all parties - and to be extra-cautious at this time of the year to avoid motorcycle and auto accidents.

The NRSF also offers warning signs for drowsy drivers so they can avoid falling asleep at the wheel and causing auto accidents. These include:

o Difficulty focusing, rubbing eyes, frequent blinking
o Daydreaming or not remembering driving the last few miles
o Head snaps, yawning
o Drifting out of your lane, tailgating or hitting rumble strips

Should you find yourself with any of these warning signs, the NRSF advises you to pull over and take a break, have a caffeinated beverage or snack, or even take a nap. Of course, you should avoid alcohol before getting behind the wheel, as that also encourages sleepiness.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3220844

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Drowsy Driving Puts Teens at Risk (The Today Show)

The Dangers of Drowsy Teen Drivers (The Today Show)

Drowsy driving puts teens at risk

Many teens heading back to school are sleep deprived as they drive to and from school, increasing their accident risk, U.S. researchers say.

David Reich, spokesman for the National Road Safety Foundation, says drowsy driving is a risky behavior common among young drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates more than 100,000 crashes every year are due to driver fatigue, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Reich says there are several signs that warn a driver to stop and rest:

-- Difficulty focusing and frequent blinking.

-- Daydreaming, not remembering the last few miles driven.

-- Head nodding.

-- Repeated yawning, rubbing eyes.

-- Drifting out of lane, tailgating, hitting rumble strips.

A driver who experiences any of these should pull over at the next exit or a safe rest area and take a break or a 20-minute nap, Reich suggests.

Have a cup of coffee or caffeinated snacks and allow 30 minutes for the caffeine to enter the bloodstream. Don't drink alcohol or take medication, Reich adds. Drowsy driving can be as fatal as drunk driving.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a Collision Repair Specialist Can Do to Restore Your Car

If you think a collision repair specialist is a simple car mechanic: think again! A more apt name for him is a "car restorer." His job is to actually restore your car as closely as possible to its original condition following an accident. It is one of the most difficult, highly-involved types of car repair tasks in the industry, so you want to choose an experienced shop to perform collision repair should your car ever need it. Here is a quick overview of what a collision repair specialist can do to get your car looking and running like its old self again.

He makes a thorough diagnosis of what needs to be done

Even with the aid of computer diagnostic tools, a collision repair specialist must still be something of a jack-of-all-trades. He has to know what to look for when it comes to damaged internal systems: electrical, air conditioning, engine troubles, brake systems, transmission, and so forth. To all this he must be able to determine how to best restore a body's external structures. If restoration is not cost-effective, he must be knowledgeable enough to authoritatively declare the vehicle a total loss.

He works from the inside out

A good collision repair technician understands that what's going on inside is just as important as how the car looks on the outside. Too many so-called collision repair techs take short cuts when it comes to a car's internal frame reinforcements: the result is a car that is actually less safe in the event of another collision! After all the car's systems are repaired, a real professional will restore or even improve upon the vehicle's internal structures before moving on to exterior body work.

He makes it look like nothing ever happened

Once the internal systems are repaired and the frame is restored to its original (if not better) condition, it's time for the collision expert to work on the car's body. This skin is usually comprised of a combination of steel, aluminum, composite materials, plastic, and glass: all of which give the car its distinctive look. A collision repair service will employ a variety of experts who work together to restore a car's exterior using a broad range of state-of-the-art techniques and parts. They will make it look like nothing ever happened at all.

Your car can look and perform like its old self again, both inside and out. Just be sure you choose the right collision repair specialists to make this happen.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3652283

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Preventing Teen Car Accidents: 5 Tips Every Parent Should Know

Teen car accidents are the number one cause of teenage deaths in the United States. Every year, nearly 6,000 teenagers are killed in an automobile accident. Given this frightening statistic, it's important for you to take an active role in improving your kids driving skills.

Here are 5 simple tips that you can use to keep your teenage drivers safe:

1. Gradually Increase Their Driving Experience
Most teen car accidents happen because kids make bad driving judgments. This is because your teenage driver simply lacks the same level of driving experience that you have.

Teaching your kids how to manually drive a vehicle is the easy part. Teaching them how to deal with difficult driving scenarios, is a bit more challenging.

You can improve your teenager's driving skills by gradually building their experience with different real world conditions. For example, the next time it rains, take your teenager out for a drive. See how they handle driving a vehicle in slightly more challenging weather conditions. This can help you correct any weaknesses in their driving. Later on, you can incorporate other driving scenarios, like driving at night or on the highway.

By gradually exposing them to different driving scenarios, you can help build your kids confidence, improve their driving skills, and most importantly keep them safe.

2. Share Your Car Accident Experiences
Most teenagers don't like to be told how to drive by their parents. A good way to indirectly teach your kids about safe driving is by sharing your own car accident experiences.

Perhaps you, or someone you know, were in a car accident once. Talk to your teenager about what caused the accident, how you felt afterwards, and which consequences you had to deal with. Try to paint a vivid picture in their mind about the dangers of reckless driving.

Sharing a personal story can be a better approach than simply telling your teenager to be a safe driver. Kids often hate getting another "lecture" from mom or dad. By sharing your driving experiences, you are implicitly sharing your knowledge. This approach can make your kids be more open to your advice and have a bigger impact on improving their driving habits.

3. Reduce the Number of Passengers
Most teenager drivers are very eager to drive their friends around. However, statistics on teenage car accidents have shown that the number of teen accidents increase with each additional passenger.

To reduce the risk with your teenage driver, you should initially limit the number of allowed passengers in the vehicle to 2 or 3. Let your kids know that once they become comfortable driving with a small number of people, you will gradually allow more passengers.

This is a good compromise since your kids can still drive with their friends and you can limit the number of passenger distractions.

4. Use Seat Belts
Wearing a seat belt is often the simplest way to prevent serious car accident injuries, yet most teenage drivers ignore it. Why? The simple reason is that it is a bad driving habit. The best way to correct this bad habit is to replace it with a good habit; wearing a seat belt at all times while driving.

You should also make sure that your kids wear their seat belts before starting their vehicle. Many teenagers start to put on their seat belts after they have begun driving. This of course creates a distraction and puts them more at risk of getting into an accident.

Just like changing any habit, this can take some time to develop. However, if you consistently remind your kids to wear their seat belts, pretty soon it will be ingrained in them.

5. Be a Good Role Model
The most important thing you can do to keep your teenage driver safe is by setting a good example.

If you are unwilling to practice the safety driving tips, so will your teenager. For example, If you are unwilling to wear your seat belt while driving, what makes you think your kids will wear one?

Kids learn more from what you do, not what you say. By saying one thing and doing another, you send your kids mixed signals which can make them more prone to car accidents.

Preaching, "do as I say, not as I do" rarely works with teenagers. If you want your teenage driver to be a more responsible, it all starts with you setting a good example.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6025350

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Driving In The Elements

It is a rather unfortunate thing that the sky is not always clear and the wind not always calm and the extreme forces of nature leave our highways and roadways alone to the cars and those driving the cars. Instead, Nature is fickle and acts out at random often unprovoked in the violence that it brings caring not for when or where and we are left to deal with this attitude even if it does not find us safely in our homes. Often times the forces of nature find us in our cars driving to and from our little points completely unaware of what is about to be unleashed. Driving in ideal weather is a simple task; follow the rules and be on the look out, but when the fury of nature rears up different strategies are required.

The elements of rain, fog, and wind are among the most dangerous of Nature's wrath and if not treated with care result in crashes that take a devastating toll on car and driver. Extra care and extra attention are the tools drivers need in order to combat these problems. Defeating nature may be impossible but surviving it is a matter of precaution.


It is an easy thing to say; "Don't drive in the rain if you don't have to" but when you have to this advice is useless. If you must go forth into that rain storm keep your safety and the safety of those sharing the roads in mind. Your duty does not end when you turn on your windshield wipers.

During rain your visibility will be cut if not dramatically then just enough to make conditions dangerous. Driving with your headlights in even the slightest of drizzle will make your car noticeable to other drivers and the road noticeable to you.

Reduce your speed as your drive in the rain. Just because the speed limit is a certain number does not mean that you must, above all else, reach this number. Speed limits are really a guideline, a recommended speed that will keep traffic moving at a safe and even flow. During a rain shower the roads will be more dangerous so it will be important to drive at a safe speed even if it does not match the numbers on the sign. This is especially vital if the rain follows a dry spell. The collected oil and grease from cars will make the roads slick and make it difficult for the tires to get enough traction. This can result in your car skidding off the road and hydroplaning. Hydroplaning will cause the car to drift until the tires can once again gain traction. If this should happen, it is not advisable to slam on the brakes. Keep the wheel straight and decrease speed until control is regained.

If you find yourself in rain that is excessive then pull to the side of the road at a safe distance and wait it out. It is never a good idea to speed through a puddle as the water may cause severe damages to your car's engine and you may even become stuck. Use your common sense when driving in the rain and keep alert. This will be a valuable commodity as you travel down the road and through life.


Driving in the fog is an especially dangerous task as the visibility can be non-existent. Though when this happens it is wiser to pull over and wait instead of risking your life and the lives of others in an accident that could have been avoided. However, if you find yourself surrounded by fog and with no other option then to keep driving, do so carefully and slowly.

Use the equipment at your disposal, notably your lights. Never use high beams in the fog as the light will be dispersed in the fog and become useless. Your low beams are best combined with any fog lamps you may have. Often times other drivers will not be able to see your car until they are passing you so your lights will let them know where you are.

Keep your speed slow and steady. Do not brake suddenly and certainly do not reverse. Signal early and brake slowly allowing those behind you time to react accordingly.

Concentration and focus are great allies when driving in fog. You can not be distracted by cell phones, music, or anything else as you navigate the quagmire. Most accidents that occur in fog are fatal. Fog can happen suddenly or slowly so keep aware of your surroundings and any changes in the weather or traffic as it can be an indicator that fog is up ahead.


Wind can make for some pretty dangerous driving conditions. Oftentimes, high winds are accompanied by other dangerous weather so the risks created by the winds may be overshadowed by the rain or the snow. Larger vehicles like trucks and RVs have the greatest difficulty in high winds as their greater size is more open to the battering effects. However, small cars and light weight vehicles will also need to take precaution.

High winds can kick up at a moment's notice so it may be tricky gauging when that next burst will come but if you already find yourself in conditions that favor extreme wind then drive at reduced speeds. Be especially mindful of the larger vehicles on the road and give them as much space as possible.

Do not treat high winds lightly; it is just as dangerous of a problem as rain and fog. Take bridges with extra caution and listen out for any weather updates. Those high winds just may signal a severe storm or worse.

Driving in the elements such as rain, fog, or high winds, can be a dangerous task. If done with caution and common sense your trip through these battering elements can be a safe one.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1081280

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Poor Car Maintenance Can Cause an Accident

Owning a car provides you with a great sense of freedom. Having the ability to go off for a drive at the drop of a hat is a luxury that is well worth having and should not be taken for granted.

Yet owning and using a car carries many responsibilities that need to be taken in to consideration if you choose to be a good and careful driver and avoid road traffic accidents.

As with all cars there are many moving parts, each of which can go wrong. This is not to say that they will. Like many things if something is well maintained then it can last a long time. So what sort of basic car maintenance should you be doing to make sure your car remains safe to drive?

Cleaning the car

You may ask why but there are plenty of reasons why a car should be kept clean. For example, clean windows will allow you to see clearly in all levels of light and weather conditions. A clean steering wheel that is clear of grease will mean that it won't slip through your hands when driving. All litter should be taken out of the car, if anything was to roll under the pedal it may prevent you from applying the breaks in a moment of need, resulting in a crash.

Checking the oil

The oil is the 'blood' if the car and with out this, the engine would seize up and the car would stop working. It can also cause great harm to allow the engine to run out of oil and may even become broken beyond repair. You should always consider the type of oil that you use seriously as by using oil that is not up to the job can lead to long term problems as well as additional expense.

Checking car tires

Checking the tires in not only a good measure to remain safe but a legal requirement. There should be not less that 1.6mm of tread on the tire, anything less than this can make the car illegal to drive, cost you a fine and could result in you getting penalty points on your license.

These tips alone will ensure that you are a step closer to remaining as a safe driver and one that will be able to reduce the chance of an accident.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3890346

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What to Do If You Are Hydroplaning

What is hydroplaning?

Hydroplaning is if the tread on your wheels cannot channel all the rain water out from under your tires - or, from beneath each patch of tire that is supposed to be resting on the road and giving off traction. When hydroplaning, those tire patches are sitting on a layer of water instead of road.

How can I tell if I am hydroplaning?

The rear end of your car can feel a tad loose, especially in a high crosswind. The steering will also immediately feel loose or little too easy. The steering wheel jerks out of the blue and the vehicle pulls toward the puddle. Additionally, you may be nearing a curve and find that your vehicle isn't responding to your steering. On a straight road, a small "wiggle" of the steering wheel can give you immediate information on whether you are hydroplaning.

What causes hydroplaning?

  • Water depth
  • Speed
  • The amount your car weighs
  • Width of the tire
  • Depth of tread
  • All tires will hydroplane with the right combination of speed and water depth

What should you do if in this situation?

  • Do not hit the brakes - reduce your speed by smoothly taking your foot off of the gas pedal, engage your clutch if you are driving a manual vehicle, and let it coast to the point where the hydroplaning stops. You can't make any jerking movements
  • You will not be able to steer while you are hydroplaning, so do not move your steering wheel but hold it with a strong grip.
  • Wait until you can feel the road again under your car. When you are done hydroplaning, it should be instantaneous and easily felt, like you have returned to pavement.
  • Proceed with caution and test the brakes periodically to make sure that they aren't flooded

How can I prevent hydroplaning?

  • Ensure that as much of the contact patch on the tire touches the road surface as possible by noticing the tread depth. Bald tires give poor traction on slick roadways. Federal guidelines require 4/32 of an inch on your front tires and no less than 2/32 of an inch on your rear tires. However, studies have shown decreased traction in poor weather when tire tread reaches 5/32 of an inch or less.
  • Keep your tires at the proper inflation. An under inflated tire will hydroplane at slower speeds, since there is less pressure to push the water out of the way.
  • Watch the road coming up for pools or running water.
  • Watch the spray being kicked up by the cars ahead. If it suddenly increases it's likely that the driver has hit a patch of water that could cause you to hydroplane.
  • Also, drive in their tire tracks so your tires don't have to do as much work.
  • Watch your tire tracks in the rear-view mirror. You should be able to see distinct tracks on the wet road behind you, and even see your tread pattern on the pavement for a few seconds before water covers it again. If you can't see your tracks, slow down.
  • Keep your speed down in the rain - reduce your speed by at least 1/3
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1244723

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best of 2011!

We need your help! If you've had a great experience with Corby's Collision be sure to let all of Vacaville know! Please vote for us as the Best Auto Painting/Collision Repair in The Reporter's "Best of 2011".

Voting goes from now until October 31st, 2011 and winners will be announced December 31st, 2011. Every vote counts and is greatly appreciated!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Help Your Teen Drive Safely

When your teenager obtains his or her first driver's license or learner's permit, the whole experience can be a little nerve-wracking. Auto crashes are a leading cause of major injuries among people in this age group. Even when young people are committed to driving responsibly, simple inexperience can contribute to serious accidents. As a parent, it is only natural to be concerned.

Does this mean you should ban your kids from ever getting behind the wheel? Of course not. The only solution to beginners' mistakes is more experience and practice. Dangerous errors can be avoided with carefully supervised and informed training. This article will review some basic steps for helping your kids remain safe on the road.

Basic Tips for Parents

Teaching safety can be a slow process, but it is not hopeless. A few steps to take that can help you guide your children through the learning process include:

Refresh your knowledge. It is very difficult to teach a new skill when you do not have complete information yourself. A defensive driving course - whether in person or online - can help you practice the habits you want to pass on. Even sitting down with a copy of your state's drivers' manual to do a quick review can help.

Set a good example. Once you have brushed up your safety skills, demonstrate them to your kids. Even if they are too young to begin driving yet, they do observe you as you drive and will likely develop similar behaviors. One of the best ways to influence people's behavior is to practice what you preach.

Talk to your kids. If you simply list dos and don'ts, you may come across as just being controlling for no particular reason. A few minutes online can provide statistics and facts that demonstrate the importance of what you are trying to teach. Sometimes kids need clear, evidence-based explanations of the potential consequences of dangerous behaviors.

Reward good behavior. Studies have shown that in all contexts, punishment of bad behavior is not enough to instill good habits. You also need to notice and praise responsible actions. It will not only make your teaching more effective - it will be better for your relationship with your children.

Look for programs in your neighborhood. There are many private and government-funded organizations committed to fostering safe driving behaviors. Classes, manuals, and online videos can all help new drivers learn the skills they need. There are even programs for parents and teenagers to take together.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3013357

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

When the road is wet everything changes. You can't see. You need more response time. The rules you drive by have to change. If you try to drive the same way you do when it is dry and sunny, you put yourself at risk for accidents. There are thousands of serious car accidents every year that are the result of unsafe driving in the rain. When it's raining it isn't necessary to stay home - a few changes to the way you drive when it's raining will ensure your safety so you don't have to worry.

First, slow down. There are many benefits to slowing down in the rain. Slowing down gives you more time to react to a perilous situation and decreases the seriousness should you have an accident. It is hard to see when it is raining. Water on your windshield combined with the lights of other vehicles may be confusing. A little extra time to access what you are seeing can be the difference between a serious accident and safety. Keeping a safe distance between your car and the cars around you is another way to give yourself more time to react. Slow down so that you are not following the car in front of you too closely. And pay attention to the cars behind you as well.

Second, stay away from extra water. Driving through puddles or around large trucks and buses puts even more water on your windshield. The more water blocking your view, the more danger you are in. Try not to get too close to trucks or buses that are kicking up the water off the road. If you must pass them, try to do it quickly and watch the lines on the road rather than the water being sprayed up. Splashing through puddles not only decreases your visibility but can also cause mechanical problems. The worst that could happen is that water is taken in through the engine's air intake and destroys the engine.

Make sure your vehicle is in the proper shape to handle the rain. Regularly replace wiper blades so you have maximum visibility. Headlights should be in working order so that you can see, and others can see you. Understand what your vehicle can handle. Don't drive through a deep puddle unless you know that it will not affect the mechanical aspects of your vehicle. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the water stays beneath the doors of your vehicle.

Follow the above advice and you will most likely avoid accidents when driving in the rain.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4958555

Monday, September 26, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Around The Corner (1937) How Differential Steering Works

How the automobile differential allows a vehicle to turn a corner while keeping the wheels from skidding.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Auto Body Repair

Auto body repair is a very common practice with cars, but can also be a very complicated process. Accidents usually cause a lot of damage that you can see on a car, but can also cause damage to the body of your car that you don't notice. This is why you should go to a professional body shop for any type of body damage that is done to your car. Auto body repair is also very affordable because shops can usually use smart and economical methods of fixing the body of your car without breaking the bank. The automotive industry of repair and body work is ever evolving and many new methods of fixing a car is discovered every day.

The first step of auto body repair is a consultation. This is where you go into a body shop and have damaged assessed. You will get a free estimate as to how much it will cost to repair your car, and this will be the first step of scheduling the repair work to be done. Body shops work closely with all insurance companies so that you do not have to directly deal with your insurance company or someone else's for that matter.

Once the repair work has begun, it is not uncommon to discover new problems with a car. If this happens, your auto body shop will contact you on the new problem, and give you a price on fixing it. They will then talk to the insurance company for you and explain more money is required to fix the automobile. There is no need to worry in the case of using your insurance on any repairs because many body shops have already established relationships with insurance inspectors.

The last step of auto body repair is the paint phase. The paint of the car can really affect the overall appearance of any repair work that has been done if it is not performed by a professional. If you just need a small amount of paint work done, your body shop can blend the area with the rest of your paint, saving you money during the process. If the entire car needs to be painted, they will do this for you, and will also give you some sort of guarantee on the paint life so you don't have to worry about imperfections later down the road. Auto body repair is not as mechanically technical as engine repair work, but it is just as important with the safety and usability of a car.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6165515

If your car has been damaged in an accident bring it in to Corby's Collision! We have been in business for 47 years in Vacaville, California. When you do business with Corby's Collision you will not only deal with their qualified and professional staff but, also with Paul himself. He is an Owner/Operator and likes to be "hands on" with everything that goes in and out of the shop.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Worst Cars of All Time - Forbes and Time Magazine

Driving Television (driving.ca) in November 2009 produced this "Worst Cars of All Time" based on recent Forbes and Time Magazine lists. Ford Bronco II, Delta 88 Diesel, Ford Pinto, Cadilac Cimeron, AMC Pacer

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fastest Cars In History

Shows each car to hold the record for "Fastest Road Legal Production Car"

MUSIC: Moon Over the Castle, Gran Turismo 4 opening sequence.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Common Questions Drivers Ask About Their Car's Air Conditioner

During the colder months, your vehicle's A/C takes a low priority. When the weather becomes warmer, problems in the system can make driving a miserable experience. Moreover, issues that are left unresolved tend to worsen and promise larger repair bills down the road.

Your car's air conditioning system consists of several parts and hoses. Like all auto parts, these components suffer wear and tear; they can fail with time and use. Despite the A/C's importance to your driving comfort, few motorists understand how it works or the problems that can occur. In this article, I'll address several of the most common questions people ask about their vehicle's A/C.

"Does The System Need To Be Recharged?"

Many drivers immediately think problems with their car's air conditioner are related to a low level of freon (or R134 refrigerant) within the system. In reality, that is rarely the root cause - but, it can be a symptom of another issue.

The refrigerant in your vehicle should not leak. If it does, the leak must be identified and fixed to prevent similar problems in the future. If the root cause of the leakage is not resolved, recharging your A/C will only be a temporary solution; the newly-added refrigerant will leak again.

If the freon is low, have it replenished. But, realize that a leak likely exists in the system and needs to be repaired.

"What Is Wrong With My Car's Air Conditioner?"

This question exposes an important point about diagnosing and fixing problems with the A/C. The symptoms you experience will help your mechanic narrow down the culprit. For example, if the volume of air coming from the vents is lower than normal, that suggests a blockage somewhere within the duct system. On the other hand, if the air coming from your vents is warm, that suggests a leak, a malfunctioning compressor, or another parts-related failure.

Your mechanic is going to ask you to describe what you are experiencing when you run your car's air conditioner. Be prepared with a detailed answer. That will help him find and fix the issue.

"What Happens If I Don't Repair The System?"

If you neglect to have problems repaired, you can expect the system to fail in the future. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the greater likelihood your repair bill will be higher. Small issues are relatively easy and inexpensive to fix. When those issues cause a failure, addressing them becomes far more costly.

"What Can Go Wrong With My Car's Air Conditioner?"

There are a limited number of factors that can cause your A/C to have trouble cooling your vehicle's cabin. Refrigerant leaks can starve your compressor of oil. That may eventually cause the component to malfunction. Dirt and debris can also lead to problems. Not only will they cause the refrigerant to break down, but they can also affect the expansion valve and compressor.

A blockage within the system can starve the moving parts of lubrication, causing heat and pressure to rise. That leads to deterioration of the hoses, bearings, and other components. Eventually, it can cause a system failure (similar to an overheated engine).

You'll notice that all of the factors described above gradually contribute to a systemic failure. That's the reason you should have a mechanic repair any problems quickly.

Chances are, you rarely think about your vehicle's air conditioner until it shows signs of trouble. The key to reducing your repair bill is to avoid letting problems persist. If the issue is related to a leak, it costs very little to recharge the refrigerant and replace a ruptured hose. If that leak eventually causes the entire A/C system to fail, you can expect to pay much more to have it fixed.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3603895