Don’t Let Driving Home Turn Into a ‘Trick’ for You This Halloween Sober Driving is the Only Treat you Need; Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Don’t Let Driving Home Turn Into a ‘Trick’ for You This Halloween

Sober Driving is the Only Treat you Need; Remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Gerber Collision and Glass reminds all party goers this Halloween not to be tricked into thinking that it’s okay to drive after a few drinks because you’ve only got a “buzz on.”

Gerber Collision and Glass warns Halloween revelers, “Whether you’ve had one too many, or way too many, make sure you don’t turn the drive home into a horror show.  A sober and safe ride after the party is the best treat you can give yourself and everyone else on the road this Halloween.”

Nighttime is always a dangerous time on the road, but Halloween night can be particularly scary if you get behind the wheel drunk.   According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 percent of all highway fatalities throughout the nation during the Halloween period in 2010 involved a driver or a motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

 Gerber Collision and Glass recommends these simple tips for a safe Halloween:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
  • Use your community’s sober ride program
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement.
  • And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

For more information, please visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

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Tips for driving in a rainstorm – how should you handle wet weather driving

Tips for driving in a rainstorm – how should you handle wet weather driving

The most dangerous time to drive is during a rainstorm when it hits the hardest.  In stormy and rainy conditions, it is more difficult to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself. It is critical to make sure you can see and be seen.

There are several measures motorists can take to avoid an auto collision during a rainstorm.  First, slow down.  It seems obvious, but many drivers are used to driving certain speeds on certain roads that sometimes they forget the need to slow down during a storm.  Next, turn on your headlights, even if it’s a light rain, this will not only help increase your visibility of the road but will also help other drivers see you better.  While driving slowly, stay in the middle lane, as the water tends to be heavier on the outside lanes and never drive through “moving” water.  “Moving” water can sweep your car off the ground and cause an auto accident.  While driving in wet-weather always maintain a proper distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you – if you need to stop quickly your brake pads will need that extra space to avoid the car in front of you and driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.

With heavy rain, this is what you need to know before getting into your car.   Taking a few precautions and using wet-weather driving techniques will keep you from ending up sopping wet on the shoulder of the freeway, waiting for a tow truck. Or worse.

How to pick a auto collision repair shop

How to Pick an Auto Collision Repair Shop

First, find out which auto collision repair shop your insurance company, friends, or family recommends.    When you take your vehicle to Gerber Collision & Glass there’s less work for you! Gerber Collision & Glass will work with your insurance company on your behalf, managing the claim and direct-billing at the end.

Second, a good car collision body repair shop will keep you informed, answer any questions related to your vehicle, provide you with a quote and make sure that the work on your car or truck is done correctly until your satisfaction.  Gerber Collision & Glass has been in the auto body repair business for over 70 years, and our specialists only use the highest quality parts and materials to restore your car. Best of all, our parts and workmanship are each guaranteed. You’ll always get quality repairs that will ensure the safety of your family.

Choosing a quality body shop isn’t an easy task, so avoid the stress and the disruption. With Gerber Collision & Glass you’ll enjoy an easy, hassle-free collision repair that gets you back on the road in no time.

How to check for an auto recall

Just this week in the new, Honda is recalling 600,000 Accord midsize cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a faulty power steering hose that can leak fluid and cause a fire .  Because of this, the auto collision department at Gerber Collision and Glass thought it would be a great time to remind folks about the auto recalls.

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards set minimum performance requirements for vehicle parts such as brakes, tires, lighting, air bags, safety belts, child restraints, energy absorbing steering columns, and motorcycle helmets.   These Standards are applicable to all vehicles a in the United States.  When a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment does not comply with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, the vehicle is recalled.

When the manufacturer or the government concedes that there is a defect an Official Safety Recall Notice, which provides details about the problem as well as instructions on the best way to handle it, is sent to owners who are at risk. In most cases, drivers are advised to bring the car to their dealer as soon as possible.  The auto collision repair department at Gerber encourages you to call your local dealership – Even if you didn’t buy the car there, the maker of your car covers these recalls.

If you would like to check on recalls for your car, you can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website here.

How to prevent or discourage aggressive driving

To reduce auto collisions resulting from aggressive driving, Gerber Collision and Glass wants to help raise awareness.  There are a number of different ways that you can prevent or discourage aggressive driving.

To avoid being an aggressive driver always allow yourself extra time to arrive at your destination.  If you are in a hurry you’ll often find yourself running stop signs and red lights, weaving in and out of traffic, or making careless turns.  If you know you’re running late, relax – turn on the music to help calm your nerves and forget about the clock.  Fewer auto collisions occur when you are traveling the same speed limit as other motorists on the road – just be late.  You’re appointment will understand and be thankful that you made it safely.

If you are confronted with an aggressive drive first make every attempt to get of their way – don’t challenge them by attempting to “hold your lane”.  This gesture can cause more frustration to the aggressive driver.  Put your pride in the back seat and report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities, this will not only get you to your destination safely but also keep everyone else on the road safe that day too.

Aggressive driving has become a serious problem on our roadways.  Keeping your cool and adjusting your driving behavior are the best ways to handle aggressive driving.

Essential tips for Auto Collisions – what to do if you are in a car accident

Essential tips for Auto Collisions

Each year, thousands of people are involved in traffic accidents, auto collisions can be very stressful, will you know what to do in the aftermath of a collision? Whatever your reactions after a car accident it’s vital to stay calm as it helps you stay in control of the situation.

FIRST … check yourself and your passengers to make sure no one is hurt, move your vehicle off the roadway, activate your hazard lights, and set up flares.  The following tips are what do to next to help keep you and your passengers safe if you’re involved in an auto collision:

  • Call the police.  Although law enforcement officers may not respond to accidents unless there are injuries, drivers should file a state vehicle accident report, as it often helps insurance companies speed up the claims process. Ask for the investigating officer’s name and contact information, and for the accident report number.
  • Obtain the name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, plate number, and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident, along with the names of anyone with injuries and any witnesses.  The sooner your insurance company knows about the accident, the sooner they can start working to resolve your claim.
  • If possible, take photos of the scene.  Use your camera to document the auto body damage that may need to be repaired.

We understand how stressful the situation of an auto collision is and we work hard to make your car’s auto body repair as smooth as possible. Backed by our Lifetime Guarantee, our qualified, experienced technicians will repair your vehicle to its pre-collision condition.

With over 100 locations to serve you, and a written lifetime guarantee on all work, we are your collision repair specialist!

Car Windshield Care

Windshield Care

Maintaining your windshield is one of the main priorities of your car.  It makes the car look good and it helps you drive safer.  In a collision, the windshield is what prevents the roof from caving in.  Here are some important tips to contemplate when it comes to taking care of your windshield. 

If you have a crack or chip in your glass get it fixed right away.  Sometimes when you are driving, debris such as pebbles, sand, or trash can cause dings in the glass.  Over time the dings will turn into bigger cracks.

Don’t slam your car doors.  Slamming the doors cause strong vibrations to the windshield.  The vibrations can cause the dings to spread. 

Don’t leave your vehicle in direct sunlight.  Extended exposure to sunlight can shorten the life of your windshield.  If there is a great temperature different on either side of the windshield, the dings could get worse. 

Clean the windshield with vinegar or alcohol.  Use cotton or microfiber towels.  Don’t use ammonia based glass cleaners.  They could destroy the tint. 

Use a rag to clean the wipers.  Dirt and sand can get on the wipers and scratch the windshield.  Rub the rag on the blades to remove the dirt, dust and sand.

Gerber Collision and Glass want you to keep your windshield in good condition.  If you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-7gerber. Don’t forget your windshield tips. 

Pet Safety in Vehicles

Pet Safety in Vehicles

 

Before you travel with your pet there are some important things to consider.  Check to see if the pet is covered by your insurance company.  Some insurance companies will pay a percent of the vet bill. 

Get dog ID tags that have your phone number.  This will help your pet get returned to you in case he or she sneaks out of your car. 

Pack a doggie bag.  Bring food, water, medications, togs and a first aid kit.  Feed them a few hours before you leave.  This will prevent them from getting sick in the car.

Keep your pet buckled up.  Have them wear a harness or put them in a crate.  This will keep them from flying around in the car. Without these safety precautions, the driver could become distracted and cause a collision.

Never leave your dog in the car.  They are vulnerable to heat stroke.  Even if it isn’t hot outside they can still be in danger of a heat stroke.  Don’t leave your windows open.  They could get stolen.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to keep your pets safe.

Back to School Safety

Back to School Safety

Children across the nation are heading back to school and drivers need to take precaution on the road.  Motorists need to be especially careful in school zones. Parents need to review safety rules with their kids about walking or bike riding. 

Children who walk to school need to use the sidewalks.  When there are no sidewalks, they need to walk on the side facing traffic.  Kids should always wear a helmet when riding a bike. 

When a child is taking a bus to school they need to stand away from the curb.  Bus riders should get on and off of the bus when the driver says it’s okay.  Kids need to stay seated until the bus has come to a complete stop. 

Children need to cross the streets using crosswalks.  They need to look both ways to make sure a car is not coming. 

Drivers can also practice safety measures on the road.  Be extra careful before and after school.  Don’t pass a school bus when its lights are flashing.  Always drive the speed limits.  When a driver is leaving their driveway, make sure there are no kids walking by. 

Gerber Collision and Glass would like to have a fun and safe school year for everyone.  Please review back to school safety rules.

Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

Driving in thunderstorms and lightning

 Driving in inclement weather is not fun.  It can become dangerous very quickly.  Heavy winds and sideways rain can move your vehicle all over the road.  Throw in some lightning and you’ve got a mess on your hands.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to go over a few crucial details everyone should know when faced with rough weather behind the wheel.

 – Do not drive unless it is totally necessary.

 – Always allow extra space for breaking.

 – Turn on low beam headlights

–  Pull off on the shoulder and away from any trees or other things that could become flying projectiles

– Stay in your vehicle with your emergency flashers on

– Keep the radio on to a weather channel for updates

– Approach intersections with caution and come to a complete when   approaching traffic lights

– Your best protection against lightning is your vehicle

– Stay away from flooded streets and downed power lines

– Tire pressure and windshield wipers should be checked weekly

Replacing your car battery

Replacing your car battery

When is it time to replace your car battery?  There is a month and year printed on the battery label to show the lifetime of the battery.  You should replace your battery when needed so you don’t end up with a dead battery.  You may need to replace the battery if you try to start your car and it won’t start.  If it clicks when you turn on the ignition then the battery is dead.  There are certain signs to look out for when it is time to replace your battery. 

If your car takes a long time to start your battery is close to going bad.  Check the battery and replace it if necessary.  If the battery was damaged in a collision, then it is time to replace it.  Check to see if damage was done to the connectors and battery harness too. 

Your battery needs to be replaced if you have not started it in months.  Batteries will not hold a charge after being inactive for long periods of time.

A car battery is necessary to make a car turn on and function. Gerber Collision and Glass hope you keep up to date with your car battery.

Pedestrians have the right of way

Pedestrians have the right of way

The streets in our neighborhoods should be safe places for people to walk.  But many face traffic dangers just because they’re walking somewhere.  Pedestrian fatalities make up about 12 percent of all traffic fatalities and there are approximately 4,000 pedestrian deaths.

The Federal Highway Safety Office has been working to decrease pedestrian deaths.  They are providing extra resources to the cities and states with the greatest pedestrian fatalities.  They also offer free assistance and courses to all of the states.

Parents need to protect their children from moving vehicles.  Each year, nearly 900 pedestrians younger than 19 years are killed. In addition, 51000 children are wounded as pedestrians.  Parents should keep their kids safe from cars backing out of the driveway.  Parents should always hold their children’s hand in the parking lots.  Explain to your child to never run out into a street for a ball, a pet or any other reason.

Adults need to keep safe when walking too.  Cross streets safely by using the crosswalks.  Look both left and right before you cross the road.  Walk on sidewalks and paths. 

 Drivers need to be on the lookout for pedestrians.  Always let the walker cross.  On behalf of Gerber Collision and Glass, please help keep our pedestrians safe.

Rainy Summer Days

Rainy Summer Days

The rainy summer days are ahead of us.  We need to drive smart in stormy conditions.  It ismore difficult to see other cars and the road.  Practicing extra safety precautions during a rainy road trip will keep you and others safe. 

Keep the proper distance from the car ahead of you.  It takes longer to stop in wet weather.  The 3 second rule or longer should be followed.  Slow down your driving speed.  Accidents happen more in wet weather.

Turn your headlights on even in a light rain.  They will help other drivers see you.  If your vehicle has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better. 

Replace windshield wipers at the beginning of the season to prepare for the weather.  Bad wipers can distort your view in rainy weather. 

Check your tires frequently. Bald tires significantly decrease your traction on wet roadways.  If your tires are bald, the water has no place to go and you end up driving on water, and have a chance of hydroplaning.

Gerber Collision and Glass would like you to enjoy your summer with your family and friends and keep safe on the roadways.

 

 

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Driving during a Tropical Storm

Well it’s that time of year again.  It is time to go to the hardware store and get supplies like batteries, flashlights, and wood to board the windows.  If you live in the South or by the Coast you know exactly what we’re talking about.  You guessed it, hurricane season is upon us.  Florida just got pounded with heavy rains and winds for about five days from Tropical Storm Debby.  The accidents in the Orlando area were beyond belief.  A major stretch of Interstate 4 had nearly thirty collisions due to the wet conditions on the roads.  Is there anything we can learn from this? How different should we drive in tropical conditions?

                First off, if you have to be on the roads, you must drive slowly.  Speeding is the leading cause of accidents during undesirable conditions.  Vehicles can lose all traction and hydroplane when water is present on the roads.  Flooding can become a major concern, and it can happen quickly.  Roads can become hazardous within minutes of a heavy rainstorm.  You must proceed with caution.  Debris such as tree limbs can make the highway seem like an obstacle course.

  Winds can play tricks with your vehicle and make it unstable.  Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the results tropical weather can put on a vehicle.  Use common sense and always drive as slow as possible.  Check your local weather report before venturing out in these extreme conditions.  The smartest thing to do is stay off the roads if winds are strong enough to affect your driving.  Be smart and stay safe out there during hurricane season.

Teen Car Collisions

Teen Car Collisions

Teenage car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths. Teenage car collisions are an enormous problem. Understanding the causes of teen car accidents is the first step to help our teenagers.

Most teenage car accidents happen because teen drivers lack experience. They are not prepared for situations such as bad weather conditions, night time driving, and road rage.  If a teenage driver is immature they are more likely to act irresponsibly behind the wheel and cause horrible car crashes.

Almost one third of all fatal teen car crashes involve speeding.  Many teen drivers speed. Some of them are trying to show off to their friends or seek thrill.   Speeding is very dangerous for teens.

Drinking and driving is becoming an increasing problem with teenagers. They lack the experience of how alcohol affects their body.  They get behind the wheel and cause dangerous accidents

Many teenage drivers get very distracted.  They text and drive, talk on the cell phone and change radio stations.  The distraction level goes up when there is passengers in the car.  Their friends can be loud.  They dare them to do risky behavior.  Statistics on teen car accidents have revealed that the number of fatal car crashes among teenage drivers increase with each additional passenger.

Teenage drivers are the least likely to wear a seatbelt.  Approximately two thirds of teenagers who die in fatal car accidents were not wearing a seat beat.

Gerber Collision and Glass hope that parents take action to help prevent teenage car accidents.  Let’s keep our teenagers safe.

Proper Tire Maintenance

Proper Tire Maintenance

Tires are the only connection between your car and the road.  Taking good care of them is such an important obligation by any car owner.  Do not let your tires get neglected. 

Under inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.  Not only are under inflated tires more susceptible to destruction and failure, they can lead to greater fuel costs.  Balanced tires are vital for a smooth ride and long tire wear. Tires are out of balance when one section is heavier than the others.  Balancing tires is done by positioning weights on the wheel to counterbalance heavy spots on the wheel-and-tire assembly.

Good wheel alignment is critical for getting the most tread wear and life from your tires. Wheel alignments adjust a vehicle’s suspension so the wheels are positioned correctly relative to the vehicle’s frame. This modification maximizes the life of your tires and prevents your car from veering left or right when traveling on a straight level road.  If your car pulls or goes sideways from a straight line then you might need an alignment.

Tire rotation is crucial for improving a tire’s lifespan. Rotating tires on a consistent basis improves wear across the complete tread pattern.  Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 miles, or earlier, depending on tire wear.

Tire maintenance is really imperative for ensuring your safety while you drive. Your tires are what let you move.  However, a tire failure will forbid this, and it will likely happen while you are driving.  Gerber Collision and Glass urge you to take care of your tires.

The leading cause of death for children is car accidents: Car Safety Seats

Car Seat Safety

The leading cause of death for children is car accidents.  Sadly enough, we lose 3 to 4 children in car accidents every day.  The best way to keep our kids safe is to properly install a car seat.  There are many avoidable mistakes we make with car seats.

Many people buy the wrong weight and height car seat for their child.  Parents need to make sure they get the correct one, and to buy a new one when their child outgrows it.  The car seat needs to be installed the correct way.  Read your manual and check with a professional to make sure it is in the correct way.  Make sure the harness fits correctly.   It should fit very snugly to your child’s body.

Many parents change their rear facing car seats to forward car seats to soon.  The American Academy of Pediatrics advise parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they exceed the height or weight limit for their car seat, which is typically 20 pounds for an infant seat, and 35 to 40 pounds for a convertible seat.

Children are supposed to be in their car seats when they go on an airplane.  The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board all recommend that children ride in car seats on airplanes.

Make sure you use the car seat every time. 60% of crashes involving children happen within 10 minutes of home.  More than three-quarters of them happen when the speed limit is 45 mph or less, and almost all of them happen when the driver is familiar with the route.

On behalf of Gerber Collision and Glass, please adhere to all car seat safety rules.  We love our kids and want to keep them safe and sound.

How road rage can affect car insurance rates

How road rage can affect car insurance rates

Road rage is regrettable, you know that. What you might not know is that both succumbing to and avoiding road rage can impact what you pay for car insurance. We’re here to explain — and even give a few tips on finding your inner Zen the next time someone cuts you off.

A rapid road-rage review

For that first driver in existence, nothing was more relaxing than a drive through the countryside. But along with the inevitable second driver came traffic, accidents, stress — and road rage. Though this phenomenon probably isn’t new to you, it helps to review.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, road rage is subtly different from aggressive driving. Aggressive driving violates traffic laws, whereas road rage involves more serious criminal actions that knowingly endanger other drivers and passengers. Running a red light to make a date is aggressive driving — running that light to tailgate a car you think cut you off is road rage.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety places aggressive tailgating, headlight flashing, and deliberately blocking other cars among the most frequent expressions of road rage.

How road rage can impact your premium

The primary reasons to avoid road rage are safety and general decency. A little further down the list is controlling what you pay for car insurance.

Because your car insurance rate is partly determined by your driving history, a road-rage incident, when it shows up on your record as a criminal offense, is a serious red flag. Insurers may charge more for the policy to cover the added risk posed by a driver with any kind of criminal driving history.

Road ragers may also have difficulty getting full payouts for their car’s damages. Most insurers restrict coverage for deliberate or reckless actslike road rage.

On the flip side, drivers who abstain from road rage will probably have a better shot at avoiding needless accidents.

How to avoid road rage (with advice that’s sage)

There’s a lot of well-worn guidance on road rage: don’t retaliate, don’t take it personally, get plenty of sleep, etc. While valid, you’ve probably heard it all before.

So here are a few pointers you may not have considered to help keep aggressive drivers at bay and stop you from becoming one yourself.

  1. Leave space to pull around the car in front of you. Seems simple, but in heavy traffic, people tend to drive bumper-to-bumper. Leaving some wiggle room can reduce vulnerability if the driver in front of you gets aggressive.
  2. Ease your grip on the wheel. All that churning of the steering wheel, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, can cause headaches, making a bad situation worse.
  3. Crank some tunes, not the engine. Instead of listening to your own muttering, try listening to music as it can help keep you calm.

Source: http://www.esurance.com/safety/road-rage

 

Check your lights

Check your lights

Before venturing out these hot summer nights, make sure all your vehicle’s lights are working properly.  You should test out your lights every week.  Make sure all the blinkers are coming on.  The hazards should blink properly as well.  Test the headlights and the brights.  If they are dim, you may need to replace a bulb.  If any lights are out, check that the fuse is not blown.  Most importantly, the tail lights and brake lights should be illuminating properly.  Failure to have these working can result in a collision that is your fault.  Gerber Collision and Glass want you to stay safe this summer.  A safe vehicle is a properly maintained one.

Make time for timing belt

Make time for timing belt

                Is it time for your timing belt to be checked or replaced?  Many of us don’t even know what a timing belt is.  We need to focus on this automotive issue that is rarely talked about or checked up on.  The timing belt is part of an internal combustion engine that controls the timing of the engines valves.  It needs to be replaced every sixty to ninety thousand miles.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommend having a professional mechanic take the time to inspect your timing belt.  Major damage can occur to the valves and pistons if the belt is not taken off correctly.

                Failure to replace a worn out timing belt can result in major damage to your vehicle’s engine.  One key indication that your timing belt is ready to be replaced is hearing a rattling sound in the front of the engine.  We cannot stress enough the importance of having this belt checked.  If the teeth on the belt get smoothed out, you can cause the motor to be completely destroyed.  Some of the valves can remain open and be struck by the pistons resulting in this damage.  Have your timing belt checked if your vehicle is in the mileage or you hear anything different with your engine.  Don’t be left stranded with up to three thousand dollars in damage to your vehicle.