Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other official, reputable groups show that teenage drivers get into more accidents than do any other drivers. Whether you’re a newly-minted San Francisco teen driver, who wants to learn best practices, or you’re a parent or educator of teens, here are critical safe driving tips.
1. Consider an across-the-board ban of cell phone use in the vehicle.
Most parents and teens understand that driving while texting can increase your accident risk substantially. In fact, one study conducted by Virginia Tech found that truckers who texted were over 20 times more likely to get into injury accidents. Due to safety risks, texting while driving has been illegal in the state of California since 2009. Other studies suggest that even chatting on a cell with a hands-free headset can increase your risk because it distracts you from the road. For maximum teen safety, therefore, put an end to any cell phone use in the car
2. Consciously slow down.
Teenage drivers are impulsive, natural risk takers. So many teens speed. Sadly, the effects can be fatal. In fact, 4 out of every 10 teen auto accident deaths can be linked to speeding. The teen driver may need to habituate himself or herself to driving slower than what his or her impulses dictate. Practice fighting the “speeding impulse” to lower the teen’s risk of a crash or collision.
3. Reduce other factors that could contribute to risk or distraction.
Eating, blasting loud music, and even just chatting with friends in the car can all lead to distraction, which can in turn lead to a teen auto accident. Consider encouraging the teen driver to eliminate distractions entirely. In other words: no loud music, no passengers (other than an adult supervisor or parent); no eating or drinking behind the wheel, etc. Remember, teenage drivers “must be accompanied and supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, or other licensed driver 25 years of age or older” when you transport passengers under 20 years of age at any time, for the first twelve months (via CA DMV website). Risk for serious injury will likely go down considerably as a result of these smart safety practices.
4. Choose a vehicle with excellent safety ratings.
It might be tempting, not to mention economical, to give your teen the beat up clunker that’s been sitting in your garage for years. But an investment in safer automotive technology can be priceless. Look for vehicles with airbags, electronic stability control, a terrific safety record, and anti-lock brakes.
5. Lastly, encourage the teen driver to take responsibility for his or her safety – and for the safety of others on the road.
At some point, safety is a choice. Even a teen who drives a very safe car and who has been banned from driving with friends can find ways to get into trouble. Make the teen your ally – you are both on the same side.
If your teen has recently been involved in an auto accident in or around the San Francisco Bay Area, connect with the team here at Shattuck Auto for a professional, friendly, and thorough free consultation about how to repair your vehicle.
Highway deaths declined again last year, reaching their lowest rate when compared to miles driven since such record-keeping began in 1921, according preliminary government data released Monday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s early estimate of 2011 traffic fatalities released Monday said there were 32,310 deaths in motor vehicle crashes last year, a drop of 1.7 percent from the previous year. That’s the lowest number of deaths in more than 60 years.
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Any car accident can be very distressing - buying a brand new front wheel hub or rear wheel hub and then having it destroyed is never fun. However, if you are prepared it can help make a stressful situation more manageable. This guide is for cases in which there are no injuries to either party in the accident. If you are involved in an accident where there are injuries to either party, you must stop immediately and dial 911.
The first thing to do if you are involved in an accident is, if possible, to move your car to a safe nearby location out of the way of other motorists. Be careful not to go too far, and never leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is a highly punishable offense and a felony in cases where someone is injured.
Stay calm. Regardless of whether the accident was your fault or not, don’t panic, remain polite, and do not admit fault. Contact your local police, who will inform you whether or not a patrol officer should come and assess the situation.
Then exchange information with the other party. Collect their contact information, insurance information, the year make model and color of their vehicle, and their license plate number. Take a picture of the damage to both vehicles at the scene of the accident. Take pictures from multiple angles, and try to get as much detail as possible – from close-ups of the damage to wider shots of the scene itself. If you do not have a camera on your mobile phone, purchase a disposable camera and keep it in your car at all times in case of an accident. Also collect contact information from the tow truck driver and any witnesses (if present).
After you have exchanged all of the information necessary, you should be ready to get on your way. Make sure to keep all of the information you gathered in a safe place so you can reference it once you return home to complete the necessary paperwork, and ensure the responsible party pays for the repairs.
Call the Shattuck Auto Collision Professionals
If you are involved in an auto accident please call the police immediately! Then get in touch with the San Francisco Bay Area auto collision professionals at Shattuck Auto Collision Center. 510-848-6281 or www.shattuckauto.com
So, you’re cruising down the white sand beaches of Mexico in your truck with a Diesel Turbocharger, and all your buddies are flying by. What’s going on? How come they seem to be floating on the sand while you’re struggling? They have exactly the same vehicle as you, right down to the exact same Diesel injector. The answer is probably tire pressure.
You may have heard people say that it is good to lower your tire pressure anytime you go off-roading, but might have never known why. You probably don’t want to ask, because not knowing something about off-roading would make you seem unmanly. Well, no need to wonder anymore, because I am about to tell you. The answer is a simple one word solution, FOOTPRINT. Just think of a camel. Those things have bigger feet than Shaq, and Mother Nature gave the camel those aircraft carriers for a reason. The bigger the foot, the larger the area to distribute the weight of the camel, which keeps the camel on top of the sand instead of sinking into it.
When you let air out of you tires it increases the size of your cars footprint. More of your tire touches the sand. When you do this you may think that more of the tire touches in width just by looking at it, but it actually increases the length of the footprint. With this increased length your friends will no longer be leaving you in the dust… or should I say sand?
Driving in the sand is not the only time when lowering your tire pressure optimizes your ride. Anytime you are off-road it will help, especially bumpy or rocky roads. When you go over a rock, a fully inflated tire has to climb it. Even a small rock can cause the car to think it’s about to go up a steep hill. Just driving over a 2x4 piece of wood creates the same increase in angle as a hill with a 30 degree incline. When you lower your tire pressure the tire doesn’t climb the rock or piece of wood, it engulfs it. Your car stays flat on the road while your tire eats up the rock and spits it out the back.
Remember when you get back on a hard surface to reflate your tires. Tires with low pressure easily bend and break wheels, and driving too fast could overheat your tires. The lower your pressures are set the lower the speed you should drive.
images source: blogcarparts.com
Besides sticking to your regular maintenance schedule, it’s possible to avoid costly repairs by just driving your car responsibly. Most of the tips we’re about to post should be common sense, yet many people ignore them every time they get behind the wheel. With just a little bit of forethought, you can drive your car in a much gentler fashion and extend the life of your vehicle for years to come. If you drive with care every day, you’ll be rewarded with longer intervals without repair issues.
Don’t race your engine when you’re starting your car. Gunning the engine when it’s starting (or just started) will add years of wear-and-tear to your engine. This is especially bad for your engine when it’s cold outside.
Accelerate slowly when you start to drive. The heaviest wear on the engine and drive train happens in the first 10-20 minutes of operation.
Don’t let your engine warm up by idling in your driveway. The engine won’t be operating at its peak temperature, so idling will result in poor fuel combustion, soot deposits on cylinder walls, oil contamination, and eventually lead to damaged components.
Shift into neutral at red lights. Shifting to neutral will reduce the strain on your engine and drivetrain. If you leave the car in Drive, your engine is still working to push the car forward, even while you’re stopped.
Don’t drive at high speeds or accelerate quickly. This is an important tip any time you drive, but it’s even more important in it’s very hot or very cold. The extra wear-and-tear on your engine will result in more frequent repairs.
Drive carefully to save your tires. Obviously, don’t burn rubber… but also avoid fast starts, stops, and sudden turns. Try to avoid potholes and objects in the road. Don’t run over curbs or brush the tire against the curb when parking.
Avoid extreme turns. When you’re turning your steering wheel, don’t hold it at the extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds – it will damage your power steering pump.
Consolidate short trips. Most of your wear-and-tear takes place in the first few minutes of driving. Instead of running several separate short errands, consolidate your trip and make them all in one trip. You’ll use less gasoline and you’ll drastically reduce the wear on your engine.
Remember – Shattuck Auto Collision Center, staffed with certified technicians who will treat your car like their own. If you ever have any questions about collision repair, vehicle maintenance or tips for avoiding expensive repairs, we’re here to help you. Call us any time at 510-848-6281 and we’ll answer any questions that you might have. www.shattuckauto.com
Modern cars are much safer than ever before, but even with safety improvements, it’s still important to be a safe driver. There are still millions of car accidents every year, and car accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 3 and 34.
Whether you’ve just gotten your license of you’ve been driving for years, we’ve put together this list of 10 driving tips for safe driving.
More than 30% of all fatalities from car accidents caused by drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. This one’s easy – if you’ve had something to drink, just have a friend drive you home. It’s just not worth the risk.
This one’s not so easy – everyone loves to drive fast. The statistics are eye-opening: for a simple drive across town, driving just 10 mph faster than the speed limit will only get you to your destination a few minutes faster… but your risk of having an accident rises by as much as 50 percent!
There’s a reason that so many states are starting to pass laws banning cell phone use when driving. One study showed that the reaction time of a 20-year-old driver talking on the phone was equal to a 70-year-old-driver. It’s not just cell phones though – anything that diverts your attention from driving should be avoided, such as applying makeup, eating, or playing with your radio.
A study done at Virginia Tech reported that 20 percent of all accidents have sleepiness as a contributing factor. If you’re drowsy, don’t think that opening the window and turning up the radio will help you fight it off. Your reaction time is drastically reduced when you’re sleepy, so have a friend drive.
They’re not there for decoration – seat belts save lives. Estimates from the NHTSA show that more than half of all car accident fatalities were people who weren’t wearing seat belts.
Whether it’s rain, fog, snow, or icy roads, you should always take extra caution when driving in inclement weather. Stay below the speed limit, make sure there’s extra space between you and the car in front of you, and be extra careful around curves.
You’ve got to be sure that there’s enough space to allow for your reaction time should the car in front of you stop or turn suddenly. Follow the “three second rule” – watch for a stationary object on the side of the road, and start counting seconds as the car in front of you passes it. At least three seconds should pass before your car passes the same object.
You can be the safest driver in the world – but that doesn’t protect you from other drivers. The best thing to do is to assume that every other driver on the road is a bad driver. Keep an eye on your mirrors and the cars around you at all times – you can’t predict what other drivers might do.
Instead of being an aggressive driver that bullies every other car on the road, stay calm and drive defensively. Keep plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, drive the speed limit, and yield to other cars. Yes, it might take a few more minutes to get where you’re doing, but you’ll drastically reduce your chances of being in an accident.
Proper vehicle maintenance doesn’t just help your car to last longer – it’s a major safety issue as well. One of the most common maintenance issues that leads to a wreck is tire pressure. Over- or under-inflation can lead to performance problems and even a blowout. Your brakes are also extremely important to safe driving. Follow the basic maintenance guidelines in your owners manual and stay up to date on maintenance tips by reading our blog.
Shattuck Auto Collision Center is a cutting edge, state of the art high-tech auto body repair shop facility. We are professionally staffed with I-car trained auto body professionals. Located in Berkeley and servicing the Greater San Francisco / Bay Area. Call us today 510-848-6281 or visit us online at www.shattuckauto.com
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Swedish automaker Volvo introduced its 2013 V40 model at last week’s Geneva Motor Show, which has added a number of new safety and support features to the vehicle’s design, including world-first pedestrian airbag technology. This external airbag on the front of the car is designed to help protect pedestrians if there is a collision.