Category: Central Texas
It’s that time of year again – when your morning commute gets 10+ minutes longer because of school buses, parents, and teen drivers. But there’s one part of your commute you should be taking extra caution: School zones. These are areas near schools where kids may be walking across traffic to get to school.
While actual speed limits vary between school zones, there are a few rules you should be aware of that are always in effect while the lights are flashing.
Slow down, no matter what
While it may be tempting to speed through a seemingly deserted school zone, law enforcement is typically strict about school speed limits. Speeding through can also be dangerous to other vehicles that have slowed down and aren’t anticipating your high speed.
Regardless of the traffic and pedestrian situation, you can still be ticketed upwards of $215.
Keep an eye out for pedestrians
Just because you don’t see children in a school zone doesn’t mean there aren’t any nearby. Children can be harder to see because of their size and can be hidden by trees, power boxes, or other cars. Some kids bike to school as well.
All cell phone activity is prohibited
While it’s not illegal to use a cell phone while driving in Texas, with the exception of texting, school zones have much stricter rules. Drivers are not allowed to use a cell phone at all while driving through a school zone. This is often overlooked by drivers who aren’t aware of stricter school zone laws. The fine for using a cell phone in a school zone? Expect a bill for $229.
This law extends to all school property as well. If you’re in the school parking lot, keep the phone down until you’re parked.
Don’t pass a stopped car near school zones
A stopped car might mean they’re allowing a pedestrian to cross the street. Passing the stopped car without stopping to look first may result in hitting a pedestrian. Stop, let people fully cross the road before proceeding.
Do not block crosswalks
Again, a crosswalk is a safe way for pedestrians to cross the street. Sitting on the crosswalk blocks this safe space for pedestrians, causing them to go a different route that other drivers may not expect.
Respect the crossing guard
Crossing guards protect children and other pedestrians. If they are on the road, wait for them to get to the sidewalk before proceeding. Crossing guards are also placed at the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians, which means that cars need to take extra caution to provide a safe area for everyone.
Stop for school buses
If a school bus stops with its lights on, whether in a school zone or not, be sure to stop – no matter what side of the street you are on. Flashing lights mean children are either getting on or off the bus. Kids are especially unpredictable and could run out unexpectedly or be obscured from sight. Wait for the bus to start moving again and turn off its lights before proceeding.
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Let’s be honest. Central Texas’ worst drawback is the traffic. Whether you’re driving into San Antonio, Austin, or just trying to get through town in San Marcos, congestion is abound. That’s why it’s smart to have a plan to kick the stress for your mid-week traffic jam.
Not only will calming down help you cope with a frustrating traffic situation, but people who are stressed or angry tend to exhibit reckless driving habits. This is dangerous for you and the cars around you.
Here are a few ways you can de-stress behind the wheel and get some enjoyment out of an otherwise stressful commute.
1. Listen to a podcast or audiobook
Preferably, your listening material shouldn’t be high-energy or aggressive, as we can often channel into our behavior. Instead, listen to something that takes your mind (partly) off the traffic around you. Listening to engaging audio could help your mind stay alert while distancing yourself from the stress at hand.
2. Turn your phone off
Using a phone while driving is illegal in some places, but ultimately your phone is a major stress machine. If you’re driving and hear several alerts going off, you’ll likely feel an urgency to check it. Turning it off doesn’t give you the option to feel this way.
3. Do some yoga
Yes, you read that right. Practice some yoga as you drive. Some stretches are best done when the car is fully stopped, while some, like practicing your breathing, can be done while driving. Start by sitting up straight. Roll your neck and stretch your muscles gently, and slowly. Focus on your body and you’ll soon feel calmer.
4. Let it go
Sometimes we let ourselves get carried away. Who hasn’t let a bit of road rage fester while you’re driving? But the key to staying calm isn’t not to feel that way. It’s to choose to let those feelings subside. Anger is a natural reaction when someone cuts you off, but to reject that feeling will help you stay calm and focused. Remember that you have no control over the actions of other drivers. The best you can do is observe and react as safely as you can.
5. Take a break
If the traffic is making you feel anxious or too stressed, you can always pull over if you need to. Try stopping at a coffee shop or convenience store for a snack and a proper stretch. You might even hang around for a bit while traffic subsides.
Texas has miles and miles of highways. With all those roads, thankfully the Lone Star State does not rank at the top for the most dangerous highways in the country. California ranks number one in that category. But maybe you’re curious, what are the most dangerous roads in Texas?
If you travel near any of the major cities, take note of some of the most dangerous highways.
Topping the List in the San Antonio Area
A recent study showed that a 14-mile stretch of I-410 claimed most of the 176 fatalities that occurred from 2013 to 2015. The study also showed that I-35 is on the list and in the San Antonio area, there were nine accidents near mile marker 101 that resulted in 13 fatalities. Eleven more crashes occurred near mile 128 that resulted in 11 total fatalities.
Two areas of Interstate 10 also ranked in the top 25 on the list. U.S. Highway 90, FM 2252, SL 13, and SL 1604 were also on the list. As many San Antonio residents may know, some of these are in high traffic areas which increases the risk for major collisions.
What drivers can do on dangerous roads
Knowing which areas are at a greater risk for accidents can help drivers be more aware and possibly avoid the need for auto body repair and reduce the risk for injury or death. They should always be aware of their surroundings and other vehicles.
In high traffic areas, it’s especially important to watch your speed, watch for road signs, as well as erratic or careless drivers. High speed can lead to serious accidents (and we know how SA drivers love to speed). Slowing down can give you more reaction time if you need to drive defensively.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision we not only work in San Antonio, but we also live here. We care about our neighbors and our community.
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Your vehicle is one of the largest purchases you make, so it’s important to protect your investment. If you have an accident, have your car repaired at a certified collision center.
Certified collision repair means technicians train through industry-leading programs, often through car manufacturers. They learn how to repair a vehicle to the maker’s specifications. If you own a luxury vehicle, the manufacturers want repairs on that vehicle to meet their standards.
There are a variety of certifications in the auto body repair industry. When researching collision repair centers, ask if that location has technicians who have received training by your automobile’s manufacturer. Once a technician reaches a minimum of two years auto body repair experience, he or she can be certified.
Also find out how often they train. As technology changes on vehicles, it is necessary to attend additional training. Advancing technology has made frequent training important in recent years.
I-CAR Gold Class
Certifications and advanced skills held by a team of technicians means they provide efficient, high-quality repairs resulting in a faster turnaround for the customer. For many shops, an experienced team is given an I-CAR Gold Class designation. ProCare is one that holds this designation.
We have 14 OEM certifications from a variety of manufacturers, such as Land Rover, Jaguar, Porsche, Honda, and others. Customers can rest assured that ProCare will repair their car properly. We also have aluminum certified repair facilities with technicians who are trained by the manufacturers on how to properly repair aluminum on their vehicles.
Re-certification and ongoing training is our commitment to guarantee the highest quality repairs to your luxury vehicle. Because our team completes extensive hours and rigorous testing, they have proven their skills mastery.
For more information about car repair and our work, follow ProCare Automotive on Facebook.
Nearly 20 years ago, a new collision center, ProCare Automotive and Collision, opened its doors in San Antonio. Today, our company experiences growth while maintaining a focus on high quality auto body repair. We are now in cities across central, south, and southeast Texas.
ProCare now offers collision repair in other cities such as Austin, Houston, and Victoria. We chose for our next location to return where it all started.
SW Military Drive Collision Center
ProCare started in 1999 with a location on SE Military Drive in San Antonio. After years of expanding, ProCare opened its 29th location on SW Military Drive down from the original body shop. The goal of the company’s fifth San Antonio location is to make high-quality collision repair more convenient for southwest San Antonio residents.
This new collision center adds about 20 new employees to the more than 550 who work for ProCare. This includes technicians, estimators, customer service staff, and office staff.
High-quality auto body repair
ProCare offers collision repair, auto paint services, and paintless dent repair. Auto technicians train on industry standards in repair from vehicle makers. As a result, our team has the skills to repair any vehicle.
Among the certifications our shops hold is the iCar Gold Class certification. Most noteworthy, the collision repair industry considers iCar Gold Class the highest training achievement. Our technicians train for this every year. Also, we designate skilled experts in four key collision repair roles. Those roles are estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician, and refinish technician.
Contact our team to schedule a free estimate or try our Smartphone Estimating Tool. Our services are backed by a National Limited Lifetime Warranty. Likewise, our paint services are backed by Axalta Nationwide Guarantee. We stand behind the work performed on your vehicle.
Our goal is to make auto body repair hassle-free so you can get back on the road.
Technology changes just about everything. It provides safety features on cars and added conveniences. Your phone also helps you make informed decisions about what auto body shop to choose.
Your smartphone can now make your collision repair simpler. ProCare Collision offers a smartphone estimating tool that customers can use anywhere, and get a preliminary estimate without stepping into the shop.
Use your phone to get a collision repair estimate
When you have car damage and need repairs made quickly, this is a fast way to start the process. You can have the estimate tool texted to you from the ProCare Collision website.
To start, take photos of the damage, submit them through the tool, and receive an estimate via email within 24 hours. Then, you’ll have an idea of a baseline cost for your vehicle repair with ProCare.
Benefits of a smartphone estimating tool
This tool helps you get the repair process started right away. It can be done at any time of the day or night that is convenient to you. Once you have an idea of the cost and what it may take to repair the vehicle, you can begin working with the ProCare Collision team to have the repairs started.
Keep in mind that estimates provided from photos are only a preliminary estimate based on visible damage and that could change once a technician inspects the car more thoroughly. There could potentially be damage that isn’t visible to the eye, such as mechanical or to the car’s computer system.
For companies with fleet vehicles, using the Smartphone Estimating Tool can be beneficial so it doesn’t take vehicles or the employee away from work on the job.
ProCare launched the estimating tool to make the auto body repair process more efficient and hassle free. Use the tool to get your free estimate and we’ll get you back on the road.
For more information, visit ProCare on Facebook.
When a hailstorm hits, it can leave its mark on your vehicle. The damage left behind can be significant. In San Antonio, the April 12, 2016 hailstorm cost $1.4 billion in damage to homes and cars. If you’re looking to repair hail damage, there are a couple of options body shops can provide.
Types of hail damage repair
There are two options when it comes to fixing those dents. The first is regular body work. This is for more extensive damage that often requires filling the dent, fixing the paint, and may take days in the shop. This can also affect your resale value if you make a claim to get the repair done.
The other option is paintless dent removal (PDR). PDR requires getting to the back of the dent and massage the body back to its original position. This option is fairly quick and easy, and also is less likely to affect your car value. It is also cheaper, but isn’t always an option with some dents and damage.
Get an estimate
Before getting an estimate, know what your insurance policy covers for auto body repair and if it covers PDR. Find a collision center that offers free estimates.
A technician can tell you what it will take to remove your damage, and what type of repair they recommend.
What to choose
If the damage to your vehicle has not chipped or cracked the paint, then it may be possible to have PDR to remove the damage. Typically, PDR is the go-to fix for hail damage. This is beneficial because it maintains the original factory paint, saves time, and saves money. Additionally, this is a good way to avoid any negative CARFAX reports if you plan on selling the car soon.
With more serious damage, you may need to go with regular body repair. Any paint damage will require collision repair to not only remove the dents but perform paint work on the vehicle.
For more information on dent repair, follow ProCare on Facebook.
San Antonio ranked No. 1 in population growth in the nation from 2016-2017 according to the US Census Bureau. That’s 66 people moving to San Antonio per day. And other cities in Texas have been close behind, adding more commuters and travelers to our roads.
Texas has been thriving, and as a result, growing steadily. A growing city can bring new opportunities, expanded culture and increased energy, but not without a few growing pains. One common concern for residents: How is the rising population affecting traffic?
San Antonio is already the seventh largest city in the nation, and with Texas’ statewide population expected to increase from its current 28 million to nearly 40 million by 2050, San Antonio can expect continued growth. More residents means more cars on the road, and in turn, more congested highways and traffic accidents.
In 2009, San Antonio commuters spent an average of 39 hours a year in traffic, but by 2014, drivers were sitting in traffic around 44 hours.
With increased numbers of drivers, accident rates are at risk of increasing, too. And unfortunately, San Antonio’s rate of traffic fatalities is already a good deal higher than experts would like. In 2014, US cities with the safest driving records had traffic fatality rates of around 3.2 deaths per 100,000 people. The same year, San Antonio’s rate was 10.57 fatalities per 100,000. (Although, San Antonio was close to the national average of 11.05).
Options for the future
As the population grows and more people get stuck in traffic, get into accidents, and pile into San Antonio body shops, it is worth considering ways to ease the pressure of congested roadways in a growing city.
ConnectSA, a non-profit, was formed in April 2018 and tasked with possible transportation solutions for San Antonio. Solutions include a trackless train system, better-integrated public transportation, and easier paying options for that transportation. Whatever the impact these solutions might have, San Antonio roads could be changing drastically in coming years.
On an individual level, you can help make the roads better by using public transportation or carpooling can help reduce some of the backup on crowded streets. Also, if you’re able to walk or bike to your destination, you can avoid traffic and free up some space on the road.
While San Antonio and surrounding areas like Victoria continue to grow, the city, state and citizens alike will develop new ways to ease the transportation strain on Alamo City.
If you wind up in a traffic accident on a busy road, contact the experienced and helpful staff at ProCare Collision. Whether you need auto painting or auto body repair in San Antonio and Victoria, our expert team will help you get back on the road quickly, and back out exploring our beautiful (and popular) city.
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