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Tag: safe driver

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.

Regular maintenance

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.

An outside view of two dash cameras attached near the top of a windshield.
Dash cameras are becoming increasingly popular, filming the outside or inside of a car while driving.

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.

Privacy rights

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

Close-up of a front bumper and headlight, dented and misaligned.
Dash cameras can help drivers when talking to car repair technicians and their insurance.

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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A woman holds her hands up in the air, outraged, behind the wheel of her car. She appears to be yelling in rage.
Keep calm. We have tips for a better Austin commute.

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:

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.

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