Category: Safety and Accidents
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times. Proper tire maintenance is essential for safe driving. Poor tread or low air pressure can do more than damage your tire, cause a flat, or cause a blowout. It can result in a collision. But is it really all as important as it’s made out to be?
The obvious answer is YES, it’s very important. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, defective or slick tires contributed to more than 80 of the fatal crashes in Texas in 2016. Damaged tires, or ones that are not properly inflated, are leading causes to a blowout that can cause a serious car accident.
Here are a few ways to check your tires and keep you and your car safe on the road.
Monitor tire pressure
Every vehicle has a different requirement for tire pressure, but most range between 30 and 35 psi. This can be found on the inside of your door or in the owner’s manual to your car.
Newer cars are equipped with helpful tire sensors that monitor pressure. However, you do not want to depend on these all the time. It is still good practice to manually check tire pressure, in case the sensors stop working properly. If you know you will be driving on slick roads, check the pressure manually before you drive.
Tire tread trick
Just like the tire pressure, the tread on tires can vary. There are different types of tires for a variety of road conditions and tires are not the same for cars versus heavy trucks. The purpose of good tread is for any liquid on the road to pass through the tread, so your car still has good traction.
Try this simple test to see if your tread is good. Take the penny and put it with Lincoln’s head down in the tread. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, your tires need to be replaced.
Some maintenance should be done regularly at your local auto shop. Wheel rotations should be done every 5,000-7,000 miles to help the tires wear evenly and last longer. Alignments and balancing also should be done if the car is pulling slightly to one side while driving or feels to be driving roughly on a smooth, straight road.
For more than 60 years, the team at Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, has repaired vehicles every year that were damaged because of bad tires. Take the time and money to maintain safe tires. If you are involved in a wreck, use our quick and easy Smartphone Estimating Tool to get a free estimate. Our team will guide you through for a hassle-free repair process.
After a car accident, a driver must decide whether or not to repair his or her car. To determine repair costs, and find out if your car is totaled, you’ll need to find an Austin collision repair shop.
Insurance company declared my vehicle totaled – Now what?
An Austin body shop will inspect the damage and provide a repair estimate to the insurance company. If the insurer determines the repair cost is more than the current value of the vehicle, the insurer declares the car totaled and will not pay for the repair.
At this point in the process, it helps to understand your insurance policy. Know what to expect in terms of your coverage for a car that is not repairable. This helps you understand what kind of payment they should provide. If you disagree with the insurance company’s assessment, do some research before contacting your agent. Take a look at prices online for your year, make, and model of vehicle. Talk with used car dealers for their estimate, and also let your insurance agent know of any custom or additional features on your vehicle that may add to its value.
Repairing a totaled car
If the vehicle that was wrecked was a daily commuter, repairing the car may not be important. However, some cars hold a sentimental value for owners, whether they are classics, a handed down vehicle from a loved one, or a first car.
When a car owner wants to repair a totaled vehicle, let the insurance company know soon after the car is totaled. The insurer will take out the car’s salvage value from the total it was going to pay for the current value. A salvage title will be necessary to drive the vehicle again. The repair costs will be your responsibility and not your insurance company’s.
At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, we provide collision repair Austin, our team of technicians understand what it takes to repair vehicles with extensive damage and to make the car safe to drive again.
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We live in a world where much of what we do in public is on camera. If you go inside a business, you may be on a security camera. When attending events, you may be in someone’s video from a smartphone. And now, more drivers use dash cameras than ever before. Many people use them in their personal vehicles to capture various perspectives while driving.
There is not a specific law in Texas that pertains to dash cameras. However, there are privacy and driving laws that drivers using a dash camera should know.
With cameras that surround us in public and people using their smartphones, it is easy to forget that we do have rights to our privacy.
Recording video from a dash camera while driving is not against the law in Austin, as long as it is hands-free. Mount the camera on the dash and never maneuver it while driving. If you are recording audio, remember the privacy laws in Texas regarding consent to being recorded with audio.
Also, it is not against the law to record a traffic stop, or any interaction with police, in Texas.
Keep a clear view
If your dash camera is mounted on the dashboard or on your windshield, do not put it in a location that blocks your view. Make sure your camera doesn’t prevent you from seeing vital road signs, pedestrians, or other vehicles.
Also, never depend on a dash camera as your view for driving. The camera can serve as a different perspective of what you see while driving and can become an extra set of eyes, but should not be relied upon for safety.
Benefits of accident video for a collision center
Drivers who get into a wreck can provide the video footage to their body shop for repair technicians to review. Technicians can then have a better understanding of the impact to the car and possible damage.
The video can also be helpful for insurance agents, determining blame for an accident, or viewing your driving behaviors that may have caused the crash.
At Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, a body shop in Austin, we have provided high quality collision repair to vehicles for more than 60 years. The more details you have regarding the accident can help our technicians provide the most accurate repairs to your car so you can get back on the road.
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Getting a driver’s license for the first time is an exciting milestone in a teen’s life. It signifies many things, including responsibility. Parents and driving instructors emphasize safe driving, because a teen has less experience behind the wheel. This makes choosing safe vehicle for your teen driver even more important.
Parents can rest easier knowing their teens are driving a car that will keep them safe during a collision. The majority of teens drive used cars for their first vehicles. Regardless of year, make, or model, there are other safety factors to consider.
Research vehicles before choosing
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases safety ratings on vehicles that can be helpful to find the right model of vehicle for a new driver. When considering vehicles, look up their safety ratings and reliability.
A teen may have an idea of what they would like to drive. The reality is that teens have probably not yet considered safety. For instance, a first-time driver may feel more comfortable driving a smaller car, but vehicles that are heavier can take a hit better than smaller vehicles in an accident.
Parents should also consider vehicles with less horsepower if they think their driver may be tempted with speed. Electronic stability control will help the new driver have greater control if they lose control of a car.
When you think you have found a car for your teen driver, check to see if any recalls have been issued. If so, find out if the recall repairs have been made.
Finding a local auto body shop
Once the search for a safe and reliable car is over, it’s a good time to research body shops, and look for ones that offer certified collision repair. Most people do not get in accidents regularly and have probably not thought about finding a local collision repair shop in case an accident should happen. Having a plan can help you and your teen be prepared.
Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, has helped parents and teens with collision repairs for more than 60 years. Our goal is to make the process hassle-free. Now it’s easier than ever to get the free estimate using the Smartphone Estimating Tool.
It may come as no surprise to Austin drivers that major collisions are a problem in the capitol city. Accidents in Texas caused over 3,700 deaths on the roads in 2017, and over 17,000 people sustaining a serious injury in crashes.
With more than 675,000 miles of highways in Texas, there is a lot of ground for drivers to cover, and many drivers unfamiliar with the roads. Drivers should know where the most accident-prone highways are near them so they can use caution.
Most dangerous highways in Austin
If you live in Austin and hear the traffic reports, you may not be surprised at the highways that made a list of most dangerous highways in a recent study. There are five highways that were ranked among the deadliest.
Those highways are U.S. 290, State Highway 71, U.S 183, Interstate 35, and FM 734. During the period of the study from 2013 to 2015, there are 127 fatalities along these roads.
Driving on dangerous highways
Avoiding congested highways in the Austin area may be impossible if you commute daily to work. Here are some tips to drive cautiously and safely in commuter traffic:
- Pay attention! Use your mirrors and be aware of the cars around you. Knowing where things are ahead of time can help you maneuver quickly if you need to navigate or avoid a collision.
- Check the speed limit. It may be tempting to speed up when traffic around you picks up, but moving fast can increase your chances of a collision – especially if another unexpected slowdown arises.
- Put up the phone and drive. It is not only against the law in Austin, it can cause a serious car accident. Use hands-free technology if you have it (set it up before you drive) or simply turn your phone on silent and put away out of sight.
- Have a plan. Using a GPS or knowing your route ahead of time can save you from confusion. Some of Austin’s exits and roads are narrow or hard to spot. Knowing where you’re going will prevent you from making last-minute lane changes, increasing your chances of a collision.
- Keep your necessities handy. If you typically use a water bottle, tissues, sunglasses, or anything else you might need on the road, keep them within easy arms reach so you’re not distracted trying to get them from a bag or the backseat.
Ellis & Salazar Automotive and Collision, an Austin body shop, has been part of the Austin community for more than 60 years. Our body shop team has watched the city grow and the roads expand. We have repaired thousands of cars involved in accidents over the years, and we take pride in providing the highest quality auto body repair. If you are in a collision, our certified technicians will take care of your vehicle. Use our Smart Estimating Tool to schedule a free estimate so you can get back on the road.