Winter driving can be hazardous and scary, especially if your area gets snow and ice. Thinking about safe winter driving ahead of time can help make your driving safer, and help deal with an emergency if one arises.
RK Collision Repair Center recommends the three “Ps” of safe-driving this winter: PREPARE in advance, PROTECT yourself, and PREVENT crashes on the road.
Taking even a few minutes in advance to prepare for your winter driving or trip could make the difference in how safely you arrive at your destination!
This is something you should do every day—wear your seatbelt! When used correctly, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45%, and reduces the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50%. It is important to always use child safety seats properly as well. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag. Remember also, that children who are age 12 or under are much safer when riding in the back seat.
Deer breeding season runs from October through early January. During this time, deer are highly active and on the move and your chances of hitting a deer are much higher. The likelihood of colliding with a deer more than doubles this time of year, and whether you hit a deer or whether it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage.
Stay safe while on the road this season with these tips from RK Collision Repair Center:
October is Car Care Month, and basic car maintenance will go far with improving the safety and dependability of your vehicle. Whether you do it yourself, or schedule a visit to a trusted professional technician, RK Collision Repair Center recommends the following maintenance checks to help make sure your car is operating at its best—before winter weather arrives!
Battery. Make sure the battery is clean and free from corrosion, and that cable connections are tight. You can even have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician, or replace the battery entirely, if necessary.
Tires. Check your tire tread to make sure you do not have bulges or bald spots; replace any tire that has significant tread wear. Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment, wheel balance, or suspension problems that must be addressed to prevent further tire damage. Ensure your tires are properly inflated. (Recommended tire pressure levels can be found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker located on the driver’s side door.)
Brakes. Brakes should be checked annually by a certified technician to ensure all components are in good working order. This includes the brake linings, rotors, and drums, which can also easily be inspected at each oil change.
Oil. The levels on your oil should be checked regularly. However, if you have not gotten your oil changed recently, this is an appropriate time to get it changed.
Fluid Levels. In addition to engine oil, check other fluids including power steering, brake and transmission, windshield washer, and antifreeze/coolant. Make sure that all fluids are at or above the minimum safe levels.
Belts and Hoses. Inspect all belts and hoses to ensure they are not cracked, brittle, frayed, loose, or showing signs of excessive wear. Inspect the cooling system hoses for leaks, cracks, or loose clamps. Tip: squeeze the hoses and replace any that are brittle or have an excessively spongy feeling.
Headlights and Wipers. It is important to see and be seen. Check to verify that all exterior and interior lights work, headlights are properly aimed, and wiper blades are working properly. Replace any faulty bulbs or worn wiper blades. Remember to check taillights, brake lights, turn signals, headlights, emergency flasher, and back-up lights.
Car care is preventative maintenance that can help avoid the headaches of a costly breakdown, and many repairs can be avoided by just taking a little time to visit your favorite service provider. Taking care of your car will help it go farther with fewer issues, and will also save you money in the long-run!
On the subject of fuel costs, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that with the recent hurricanes that have hit the gulf coast regions, we are beginning to see gas prices inch up. Now, here is the good news: There are steps you can take to curb your vehicle’s gas consumption, while saving yourself some money along the way.
Following are four tips from RK Collision Repair Center to help you improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency so you can start saving on gas today.
There are other ways to save on gas, including downloading a gas app to help you find the best gas prices in your area, and ways to improve your gas mileage, including planning your route thoroughly and turning off the air conditioner. Instead of simply waiting for gas prices to go down, focus on using these simple ways to save money on gas.
As your student is making preparations to go back to school, now is a perfect time to prepare them with what to do in the case of an accident—before the situation ever comes up. You may even consider printing this step-by-step guide and placing a copy in the glove compartment or center console of their vehicle.
Get prepared in advance.
The obvious things to have accessible in the car are the insurance information and vehicle registration—and, of course, a driver’s license. It is also wise to have an emergency kit in the car. An emergency kit should at least include a first-aid kit, flashlight, seat belt cutter, and a flare or reflective triangle. You may also consider including a pen and paper, a list of medical allergies for regular passengers, and a list of contact numbers (including for local law enforcement).
Make sure everyone is okay and move to safety.
Safety is the number one priority when an accident happens. Before your student takes any action, they must first check to see that everyone involved is okay. If someone is hurt, they should not hesitate to call 911 immediately. The next step to ensure safety is to either move the cars to the side of the road, or to turn on hazard lights, lay out reflective triangles or flares, and do whatever they can to increase visibility of the situation to other drivers.
Call the local law enforcement and file a report.
Even if it is only a minor accident, it is recommended that the local police (or highway patrol) be contacted. An accident report, including the place and time of the accident, the other driver’s information, and an explanation of any damage and injuries will be required when the police are involved. RK Collision Repair Center recommends that you ask for a copy of the police report after it is filed, as the officer’s opinion of the accident will be useful if the drivers have a dispute as to responsibility. If you are unable to obtain a police report, note the officer’s name, badge number, phone number, and police report number. In cases such as minor fender-benders, neither party may want to contact the police. However, there are still benefits to filing a report. If injuries or previously unseen vehicle damage surface later, a police report makes it a lot easier to make an insurance claim.
Exchange information with the other driver.
While waiting for the police to arrive, it is imperative to write down the other driver’s insurance and personal information. At a minimum, obtain their name, address, phone number, make/model of car, license plate number, insurance carrier and policy number, email address, and relationship of the driver to the owner of the car. Encourage your student to also take a photo of the driver. Warn your student to be careful about the information they give out—to never provide their social security number and to never sign a document unless it is for the police or insurance agent.
Do not admit guilt or apologize.
It may seem polite to apologize. However, it is important that your student not admit that the accident was their fault—even if it was! Admitting guilt or apologizing can make things a lot more difficult for the situation later. Advise your student to keep the conversation with the other driver only about facts, and limit discussion about the accident as much as possible. Let the police and insurance companies determine fault.
Always take photos and write notes before you leave the location of the accident.
Take photos of the accident scene, the damage to your vehicle, the damage to the other vehicle, any injuries that might have occurred, and the surrounding area. This can easily be done with a smartphone. However, may also be wise to keep a disposable camera in the glove compartment, just in case. Once you take the photos, take a moment to write down exactly what happened, describing the accident as detailed as possible. The sooner this happens, the easier it will be to give the account to the police and the insurance claims adjuster.
After a car accident, things can get hectic and it is likely that your young adult will have a challenging time thinking straight. The more prepared your student is for the possibility of an accident, the less confused they will be if it happens.