Month: October 2016
A common fear among drivers is the fear of having a tire blowout while behind the wheel. It can create a sense of panic and losing control, if you are not prepared on how to handle this sudden incident.
Fortunately, tire blowouts are rarer now than they used to be, but can still be dangerous. Here are a few of our tips on how to handle a tire blowout.
Recognizing When a Tire Blowout Occurs
A driver must know the signs of a tire blowout so the driver can react quickly and properly. A tire blowout typically starts with a loud, popping sound followed by a “whoosh” of air leaving the tire. As the tire goes flat, the driver will likely feel the vehicle slow down and pulling the car in the direction of the damaged tire.
Reacting to a Tire Blowout
The most important piece of advice when a blowout occurs is remain calm and do not panic. It can be tempting to become startled by the sudden pop and change in the car’s handling, but quick and unplanned maneuvers, such as an abrupt turn of the wheel or slamming on the brakes, can create a recipe for disaster. Experts recommend holding on to the steering wheel and allow the car to slow down gradually. Once you know you have control, pull your vehicle over and turn on your emergency hazard lights.
Preventing a Blowout Before It Happens
There is a simple step that drivers can take to reduce the odds of a blowout from happening. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure and look at your tires regularly. Underinflated and damaged tires are a leading blowout contributor. Most vehicles made within the last decade feature tire pressure monitors, but a quick inspection of the tire’s condition is helpful.
Remember, if a blowout happens, stay calm and drive through the blowout until you can safely and slowly pull over. Our expert team at ProCare Collision & Automotive in San Antonio is here to help you with towing, wheel alignments, and car collision repair. Give us a call today to have your vehicle checked so you can get back on the road worry-free.
Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death among teens in America, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Teen drivers account for only five percent of all drivers nationwide, but they were involved in 13 percent of accidents.
These are tough statistics for parents of teen drivers to hear, but they are a component in emphasizing the importance of safe driving among teens so they can avoid having an auto collision and becoming a statistic.
Learning from the Numbers
Studies and records are released every year to provide an overall concept for parents, driving instructors, and any other adults who work with teens to focus on improving. If you are the parent of a teen driver, take into account these three factors related to teens in auto collisions:
- Approximately half of fatal collisions involving teens occur on Friday nights, between 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 3:00 a.m. on Saturday.
- Almost half of the fatal collisions involving teens are caused by drinking and driving.
- Speeding is the cause of 25 percent of all accidents involving teens.
As parents talk to their teens about safe driving, they should keep in mind Friday nights, underage drinking, and speeding. Naturally, parents want their children to have fun with friends on the weekends, but any parent wants their child to come home safely.
While statistics show that teens are at a higher risk of being involved in a serious car accident when they are having fun with friends on the weekend, there are a few other factors that put teens at risk for having an accident and being injured. These are factors that can be prevented with ongoing education and talks with teens.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens have the lowest use among any other age group for wearing a seat belt. In 2013, only 55 percent of high school students surveyed reported wearing a seat belt when riding with someone else. Teens are also more likely to underestimate driving hazards due to lack of driving experience.
Parents should have a conversation with their teen driver and make sure the teen is aware of any driving hazards that cause crashes such as distractions, being drowsy, reckless driving, and driving under the influence.
Our team at ProCare Automotive and Collision has performed auto body repairs on vehicles from collisions involving teen drivers. We are here to help if an accident does happen, but with many of our employees who are parents of teens, it is our hope that all of the teens in our community drive safe on the roads.
The moment has arrived when your teen is ready to learn how to drive. As a parent of a teen, you have been driving for many years and now it’s time to flashback when you were behind the wheel for the first time. How were you taught to drive? What teaching method worked for you and what didn’t help you learn? Some things have changed since then, such as cell phones becoming more of a distraction.
If you consider that approximately 8 percent of all Texas drivers in fatal crashes are between 15 and 18 years old, responsible and safe driving is essential for teens to understand and demonstrate every time they drive.
Behind the Wheel
It’s up to the parent to determine when a teen is ready to get in the driver’s seat and learn how to operate a vehicle. As a teen learns, there can be nervous moments from the parent and from the child. Having a plan before the lessons start can be helpful to keep parent and teen on the same page. This means knowing in advance where you will go and what techniques will be practiced.
Lessons can also be more productive if you use a checklist of safety measures to go through each time you are in the car with your teen. By following the checklist, you can help your teen driver with consistency and ensuring the steps become habits. Once they become habit, the teen can focus on what is happening on the road.
Rules of the Road
As your teen learns the laws, it is also a good time for a parent to refresh knowledge of the rules of the road. In Texas for example, teen drivers are now issued provisional driver’s licenses until they turn 18 years old. This is just one part of the Graduated Driver Licensing program that also includes stipulations such as no cell phone use at all.
Learning the laws and safety measures early on will help teen drivers become safe adult drivers and avoid getting into an auto collision. At ProCare Automotive and Collision, we are here to help if your teen does get into an accident and needs auto body repair on a vehicle. But we hope all of our teens remember to put safety first when driving.
If you are a parent of a teen who has a cell phone, you know how often that teen uses the phone to text. If your teen has a driver’s license, texting and driving is a dangerous and potentially fatal combination. That is why Texas implemented the Graduated Driver Licensing laws which prohibits a licensed driver under the age of 18 from using any type of wireless communication device. It’s also against city ordinances in many cities in Texas to use a phone that is not hands-free. Either way, cell phone use is proven to be a distraction while driving and leads to more than half of all severe crashes involving teens nationwide.
The laws are in place, but it doesn’t stop every teen driver from using his or her phone while driving. Parents play an important role in stressing the dangers of texting and driving. There are numerous videos available to share with your teen and help tell the story of the dangers of texting while driving including these three different stories.
Peer to Peer
As a teen, hearing an important message from someone close to your age can make a lasting impression. That is the case in this video where a young woman shares her heartbreaking story with teen drivers.
Don’t get Distracted
While teens may say they don’t text while driving, it’s important to understand that even looking down for a few seconds at a text or social media notification can result in a serious or potentially fatal auto collision.
Liz Marks shares her story of how a distracted driving accident caused by looking down at a text changed her life forever.
A distracted driver can not only change his or her own life, but can seriously injure or kill someone else. That’s the case in this video where a father looks down at his phone and by taking his eyes off of the road, it leads to a devastating accident.
Many of our own team members at ProCare Automotive and Collision are parents of teen drivers. None of us want to receive a devastating call that a child has been in an accident. We also don’t want that for anyone in our community. We hope all of our parents and teens work together to learn and understand the dangers of texting and distracted driving, and put safety first when driving.
Any parent can remember those moments when you drove on your own for the first time after receiving your driver’s license. There’s a sense of freedom and being another step closer to becoming an adult. You may also remember any mistakes you made as a new driver. Now think of your own teen who is about to embark on that same adventure. It’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk that can make a difference in your child’s safety and life.
Remember those mistakes that you made as a teen driver? It’s likely your child will make those same mistakes and possibly others. It’s important to keep this in mind for the talk and also how you drive because your teen is watching your driving behavior.
Be the Role Model
Now that your teen has a driver’s license, one of the most effective messages you can send to your child is showing how to drive safely. This means parents should not use the phone and avoid distractions, aggressive driving, and speeding. If your teen witnesses you not following the rules, the teen will think this type of driving is acceptable.
You can also teach your teen to not ride with friends or other teens who text, talk on the phone, or have unsafe driving habits. Your child can be the role model and example for his or her peers and be a lifesaver.
Tips for Teen Drivers
As a parent, you have set many rules for your child and with a new driver in the household, there are more rules to enforce. Many of the rules are already enforced by state laws, such as wearing a seat belt, drinking and driving and using cell phones while driving.
You may want to enforce your own set of rules and establish an agreement with your teen. The rules should also have consequences for the teen to learn from any mistakes made. Remember, driving is one of the first steps to becoming an adult and not only will establishing rules be important, but reinforcing responsible behavior will help your teen driver.
Remember, you are not alone as a parent of a teen driver. At ProCare Automotive and Collision, many of our employees are parents of teens and they are having the same talk. Accidents do happen and when they do, we are here to help with any auto body repairs. But it is our hope that all of our teens become safe drivers.
Every parent experiences that concern for safety when their teen driver gets behind the wheel for the very first time after receiving a driver’s license. Parents hope their first-time driver follows all of the rules of the road, but that only guarantees the teen will drive safe.
There’s also the possibility the teen could be involved in an accident that he or she is not at fault. Parents want safe vehicles for their teens, no matter if the vehicle is new or older.
New Cars for Teens
If you decide to purchase a brand new car for your teen driver, the good news is that safety features on vehicles improve every year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts vehicle tests every year to determine its Top Safety Picks. Vehicles must earn good ratings in five tests to be consider a Top Safety Pick.
The good news is that several of the more affordable cars in the small car category made the list, such as the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Civic, and Mazda 3. There are also midsize cars, small SUVs, and midsize SUVs on the list if you want your teen to have a small to medium size vehicle. Many of the vehicles on the list offer optional safety features such as front crash prevention
Safety Features to Consider for a Teen Driver
Many parents opt to buy a used car or pass down a vehicle already in the family to their teen driver, knowing the teen is new to driving and could potentially put some dings and dents in the vehicle, resulting in a claim on auto insurance for auto body collision repair.
There are a few safety features worth considering in an older model vehicle. According to AAA, they suggest a midsize vehicle for teens since they offer more protection. Other safety features to consider are a forward collision warning system, a crash notification system to notify authorities, and a backup camera to give more visibility for children or animals behind a vehicle.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision, we have families and employees who are parents of teen drivers. And we care about the safety of the teens in our community. No parents want to receive the terrifying call that their child has been in an auto collision. Accidents happen, but it is our hope at ProCare that as teens drive safer cars and practice all safety measures when behind the wheel, there will be considerably fewer calls about accidents to parents.