Category: Safety and Accidents
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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Maintaining good quality tires on a vehicle is something car owners must do. Insufficient tread or air pressure leads to more than just a flat tire. In 2017, tire-related crashes resulted in 738 fatalities nationwide. While the number of tire-related crashes has dropped in the past decade, they can still happen and cause serious damage.
Proper tire maintenance is one of many steps car owners can take to prevent an accident.
Proper tire tread
The tread on tires can vary depending on the type of tire and the type of vehicle. You want enough tire tread to allow water on the road to go through the tread. This gives your car traction.
There is a quick test you can do to check your tread. Insert the penny in the tread with Lincoln’s head pointed down into the tread. If you see the top of Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace the worn tires on your vehicle.
If you don’t have change, look for the tread wear indicator bars which are located on several areas of the tire.
Check the tire pressure
The tire pressure for every vehicle can vary but is typically between 30 and 35 psi. Make a habit of checking your tire pressure routinely and it is especially important to do this before you drive on slick roads.
While most newer vehicles are equipped with tire sensors, you do not want to always rely on that in case the sensors malfunction. Under-inflated and damaged tires are leading contributors to a blowout, which can result in a serious collision.
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You step out of your car, and you take a look at the damage to your vehicle. That’s the moment you know it’s more than a fender bender. You may ask yourself “Is my car totaled?”
It’s unlikely you’ll find out at the scene of a crash: The car’s value and body shop repair cost determines if it is repairable. It’s also important to know your insurance policy and the process to file a claim for repairs, which can make the process of repairs more affordable and/or timely.
What to do with a car totaled accident
The repair team will inspect the damage, complete the repair estimate, and compare it with the car’s current value. If the repair estimate is more than the current car value, the insurance will not qualify it for repair.
For example, a car with a value of $5,000 that needs $7,000 worth of repair will not qualify.
Check your insurance policy to know what you should expect with a vehicle that is not repairable. In most cases, the insurance company will issue you a check for the value of the car. If you do not agree with the amount, you can get quotes from used car dealers, view prices online, and note any additional or special features on your car. Show this documentation to the insurance company to dispute the amount.
Keeping a totaled vehicle
Cars hold sentimental value for many and some choose to repair a totaled vehicle.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The insurance company will subtract the vehicle’s salvage value from the amount it planned to pay you. To drive the car again, you need a salvage title. Repairs are your responsibility.
If you want a totaled car fixed, find a body shop you trust to provide an accurate estimate to repair the vehicle.
At ProCare Automotive and Collision in San Antonio, we have experienced and trained technicians who know exactly what it will take to repair the vehicle back to a safe and drivable condition again.
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No parent wants their teen to have an accident and wind up searching for an auto body shop. Driving for the first time can come with mixed emotions for any teen. They can be extremely excited, nervous, or overwhelmed. Parents can also feel similar emotions as they teach a teen safe driving.
There are a few ways to demonstrate good driver responsibility to your teen.
Drive by example
AAA recently surveyed driving instructors. According to the survey, parents today do not prepare their teen drivers as well as parents did a decade ago. The instructors reported parents setting bad examples through their own driving behaviors. Research shows that young drivers will mimic the driving of parents and other family members.
Remember when your child gets closer to learning how to drive to be aware of how you operate a vehicle. Re-familiarize yourself with traffic and safety rules. Reduce behaviors you wouldn’t want your teen driver to do. This includes reducing distractions like cell phone use and obeying the speed limit.
Having a soon-to-be driver in your car can help you get back in the practice of responsible driving.
Practice, practice, practice
As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” The more experience that your teen can get behind the wheel will help your new driver respond better to a potential accident. It is better to expose them to different driving situations with you in the car next to them so they can learn from you can put your guidance into practice in the future.
Young drivers often do not get enough practice in inclimate weather, night driving, and heavy traffic – situations where they’re most likely to get into a crash.
Encouragement is important
Every parent knows that praise is helpful when their teen is doing the right thing, especially when they are driving safely behind the wheel. Positive reinforcement of good driving can be encouraging and help your teen build driving confidence.
But encouragement in other ways is also important. Have discussions with your teen to let him or her know it is a good thing to speak up if they don’t feel safe driving or to also speak up with their peers about unsafe driving. Sometimes discussing what to do or say in social situations can help your teen set boundaries (and a good example!) with other young drivers.
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When you get in an accident, it feels like everything is happening at once. Law enforcement are asking what happened, you have questions from the other driver, and your insurance company needs details. Additionally, you have to determine if you need towing services.
You have towing options
A tow truck may arrive to the accident scene as a request from law enforcement. Or, a truck could show up unsolicited after hearing about the accident on scanner traffic. Just like choosing body shop locations that you want to use, you have the right to select the towing company. Whether or not there is a tow truck on site, you can choose whichever service best fits your needs.
Know Your Insurance Policy
Know what your insurance policy covers when you sign up. Go back and review your policy from time to time to remember what is covered, including roadside assistance coverage. If you have that, your insurance company will cover the cost of the tow, but the coverage may likely have a maximum number of miles it can be towed. If you do not have coverage for towing, this will be an expense you need to pay out of pocket.
Also, keep in mind if your insurance company does not cover towing, you may have benefits from other places, including AAA, that may keep you from paying for that tow. Some credit card companies also offer roadside assistance.
Understand the Costs
Be specific when asking questions from the tow truck driver about all fees involved with the towing process, including where it will be towed and if there are storage fees associated. Do not allow the company to tow your vehicle without a clear understanding of the cost and if possible, request a printed invoice with the detailed pricing with the towing fee, storage fees, and any other charges. The printed invoice will be necessary to provide to your insurance company for reimbursement, if you have roadside assistance.
If you need assistance getting your car towed and you want to rest assured it will be towed to a secure location, give ProCare Automotive & Collision a call. We will schedule the tow and help you through the repair process so you can get back on the road.
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If you’ve been in an accident before, you know there’s a cost to auto body repair. There are the repairs to your vehicle and any other vehicle or property you may have damaged. Some cars are more expensive than others, however. Here are some of the pricier crashes in recent years.
When you see a repair bill, think about how small it is in comparison to these expensive crashes.
A Record Attempt Damages A $5 Million Dollar Car
One of the most expensive car collisions happened at the famous Nürburgring in Germany. The driver of a Koenigsegg lost control and crashed into a barrier, while attempting to set a lap record. The driver was treated and released from a hospital.
After the crash, the car caught fire, damaging the back end. There are only seven Koenigsegg One:1 models in the world.
Not Just One Luxury Car
A 14-car pile-up is bad no matter the types of vehicles involved. But when a group of car enthusiasts were travelling together on wet roads in Japan, it resulted in disaster. Eight Ferraris, one Skyline R33, one Lamborghini Diablo, three Mercedes-Benz, and, interestingly, a Toyota Prius, were among the cars involved in this accident.
The damage for this accident was estimated at $3.85 million. No one was seriously injured in the accident, but all vehicles involved were totaled.
Crashing a $35 Million Dollar Sports Car
When you think about the unexpected cost of your collision repair, think about the owner of a Ferrari 250 GTO. Fortunately, he was not seriously injured when he lost control of his luxury car during a race and crashed it into another car. Less fortunately, his vehicle was valued at $35 million.
Collision repair for a rare luxury sports car can be costly. The parts to replace the damaged sections are rare because only a limited number of these vehicles were made. If the luxury vehicle owner has the money to repair the damage, the owner may choose to have auto body repair, but the value of the car may already be diminished without original parts.
The highly trained team of certified technicians at ProCare Automotive and Collision can repair commuter cars to luxury vehicles back to factory specifications. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate and we’ll get you back on the road.
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Your car has auto body damage, but you can drive it away from the scene of the accident. If you are not concerned about the looks of your car, you may ask, “If my car still runs, why should I fix the damage?”
There are several reasons why auto body repair is necessary, no matter if the vehicle has minor or more significant damage. If repairs are not made, there are some circumstances where it could cost you to keep the damage on the vehicle.
Damage Causing Other Damage
The cosmetic damage to a vehicle may appear minor, but it takes a highly skilled auto technician to know if there could be more damage than meets the eye. A damaged fender could cause strain to a wheel, tire, or parts under the hood. At minimum, it is best to get dents repaired to avoid further and costly damage to your car.
Necessary Functions No Longer Work
If certain features do not work on your car, such as lights or opening your hood, it might lead to a ticket. All lights, such as headlights, taillights, and turn signals must be functioning for safety if you plan to drive at night.
In Texas, there is a checklist used when inspecting a vehicle. If any items are damaged, such as lights or a mirror, the car will not pass inspection until the damage is fixed. Waiting to get repairs to pass an inspection could delay getting a renewed registration, in which case, you could get a ticket for an expired registration. That’s money that could be spent on the auto body repair.
If you file an insurance claim, receive money, and then don’t repair the car, it could cost you if you have another accident. An insurance company can deduct pre-existing damage from a future settlement. It is recommended that if you receive money for a claim, to use that money on auto body repairs. To keep the money could amount to insurance fraud.
Depending on the extent of the damage, it could affect your vehicle’s resale value. In some cases, the cost to fix the vehicle can be less than the amount your car might depreciate if it has noticeable damage.
When it comes time to repair auto body damage on your car, contact the experts at ProCare Collision, an auto body repair shop in San Antonio. Our highly skilled technicians are trained to work on any make and model of vehicle and repair it to the maker’s specifications. We can get your car fixed so you avoid further damage and costs.
Examining the Dash Cam Trend
Dashboard cameras – a type of technology that, in the past, were mainly associated with officers of the law – are rising in popularity among drivers in the US. Both the reasons drivers use dash cams and the legal issues surrounding them are complex.
An Objective Eyewitness
Perhaps the most obvious motivation behind the on-board cameras – or “dash cams” – is the hope that the captured footage may help in case of an accident or ticket. Many people opting for dash cams are professional drivers whose livelihoods depend on maintaining a good driving record. Many use it as a witness in case of an accident, where the video provides time-stamped proof of the driver’s actions.
In one example, a driver who was pulled over for using his cell phone while driving was found to be innocent when the footage from his two-way dash cam revealed that he was merely scratching his ear, not violating the law. Dash cam footage might also help assign fault in insurance claims, helping victims avoid both undeserved rate increases and deductible expenses when they take their car to their body shop.
The cameras can provide a more objective account of an incident than humans might be able to provide. Regardless of good intentions, high-stress events like car accidents can result in less-than-perfect recall from the people involved.
Could Cameras Create Better Drivers?
Some dash cam proponents suggest that on-board cameras could be used to create better drivers. For example, parents of new teen drivers could use dash cam footage to monitor their young drivers and provide feedback. It might be helpful for a teen driver to watch how they are displaying reckless habits before they lead to an accident or ticket.
What’s more, some dash cam users feel that having the devices in their car has made them into more responsible and mindful drivers. The very awareness that you are being recorded might curb reckless driving habits. And in reviewing footage, drivers have the opportunity to spot bad driving habits they weren’t aware they were guilty of. The practice of reviewing the video from on-board cameras might be beneficial for both new drivers and veterans behind the wheel, though studies to confirm this idea are still needed.
What Does the Law Say?
Generally speaking, dash cam use is considered legal and the footage the units provide can usually be used as evidence in a court of law. But, different states have different rules about the devices’ footage and their physical placement in the vehicle. Texas allows dashboard cams with some restrictions.
Regulations about where and how the cameras can be mounted might vary, as can a state’s restrictions on recording people (like passengers in the vehicle) without consent. If dash cams continue to grow in popularity, the rules regulating their use will likely become more established.
The next time you are dealing with car damage, regardless if you captured the incident with an on-board cam, call the expert team at ProCare Collision, a San Antonio paint and body shop.
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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