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Tag: safe driving in Austin

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Winter weather rarely brings bad driving conditions to the Austin area, but when it does it finds many who live here unprepared for driving in bad weather conditions.  Refreshing your memory about driving safely on icy and snowy roads can keep you from needing a visit to your local auto body shop.

How to Drive Safely on Icy Roads

1)      Make sure your vehicle is properly equipped.  Do your tires have plenty of tread on both the front and back?  Poor tread means less traction and increased likelihood of spinning out.   Are your windshield wipers and defroster keeping your windows clear for maximum visibility?  Check your brakes before heading out to be sure they’re responding properly.  If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, be sure you know how to properly activate ABS during a skid.

2)      Drive slowly.  Leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and those around you.  Allow plenty of time for accelerating and braking and be very aware of your surroundings.  Extra space can mean the difference between properly maneuvering your car to avoid a collision if a vehicle near you begins to slide.

3)      Remember that black ice looks like regular water.  What may look like a small puddle could actually be a hazardous patch of black ice.  It’s most common during the early morning and late evening when the roads no longer absorb enough heat to keep water from freezing, but during extreme cold it can be present in the middle of the day.  Read ahead on how to properly respond when you find yourself driving on black ice and your quick response could save you and your vehicle from being in an accident.

4)      The safest way to keep from getting in an accident during bad weather is not to drive.  Even if you’re prepared, those around you may have less experience driving on slick roads and if the vehicle next to you spins out of control, you can find yourself involved in a collision that wasn’t your fault.

Hazardous road conditions are pretty rare in Austin, but they do exist.  Making sure your vehicle is equipped for driving on bad roads, taking extra time and being aware of how your vehicle responds differently on ice can help ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.  If you do find yourself involved in a wreck, give us a call.  We’re a locally owned body shop and we’ll get your car fixed up and back on the road with unmatched customer service.

Almost everyone agrees that talking on your cell phone while driving is dangerous.  Texting while driving is even more hazardous.  That doesn’t stop people from doing it, which means car accidents as a result of distracted driving are on the rise.

The statistics about car accidents caused by distracted driving are startling.

Most drivers think any cell phone use while driving impairs your ability to drive as safely as if you were undistracted.  Yet 52% admit to using their cell phones while driving.  Austin car accident incidents increase when people use their cell phones while driving, it’s that simple.

TxDOT reported that distracted driving, including cell phone use, contributed to over 90,000 car accidents in Texas in 2012.  These accidents resulted in 453 deaths, many of which could have been prevented if drivers had been responsible cell phone users.

What is a responsible cell phone user?

Operating a vehicle is an activity that requires concentration and attention.  To effectively navigate safely to your destination without getting in a car accident it’s important to remain undistracted.

Tips to be a responsible cell phone owner while driving:

1)      When using GPS to navigate, program your device prior to driving.  To prevent car accidents, don’t alter its programmed destination without pulling over.

2)      Put your cell phone where you can’t reach it.  Place it in the back seat or trunk.  It can’t distract you if you can’t see it.

3)      Turn off the sound.  No text message, phone call or e-mail is so important that it can’t wait until you arrive at your destination.  None of those messages or calls will matter if you don’t arrive safely and without getting in a car wreck.

4)      If you must use your cell phone, find a safe place to pull off the road.  Studies have proven that even voice activated texting and hands-free talking while driving are not safe alternatives.

5)      Ask a passenger to answer your phone or respond to text messages on your behalf while you’re driving.

6)      Install an app that prevents you from using your phone while your vehicle is moving.  If you don’t trust yourself to resist the temptation, there’s an app for that!

7)      Join thousands of others who have taken the pledge to not text while driving.  A popular local Austin television station recently ran a lengthy campaign in support of ‘X the Text’ hoping to reduce the incidence of Austin car accidents.

In addition to safety concerns, in many areas using your cell phone while driving is against the law.  If you live in Texas, you can learn more about texting while driving laws in Texas by visiting the TxDOT website.

Safer driving  means fewer Austin car accidents.  Don’t try to defy the odds, increase your odds of arriving safely by being a responsible cell phone owner while driving.


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