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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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: