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 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.

Regular vehicle maintenance – how do I regularly maintain my vehicle

5 Car Maintenance Must Dos

Your car is likely your second most valuable investment.  Regular maintenance is critical to ensure the safety, reliability, and longevity of your car. The actual schedule of car maintenance varies depending on the year, make, and model of a car.  Every car is supplied with a schedule — in the owner’s manual or in a separate maintenance log book — that details that vehicle’s needs.

If you want to keep your car in good shape, Gerber Collision recommends the following be regularly maintained on your vehicle:

1 – Hood Checks

2 – Oil Changes

3 – Waxing/Washing

4 – Alignment, Balance, & Tire Rotation

5  – Filters

To maintain safety and reduce the cost of car repair, it is important that you have your car inspected regularly. Regular vehicle maintenance will help keep your vehicle a properly running automotive.

Tips to keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down on the side of the road

The side of the road is a dangerous place. No matter how well you maintain your car, the possibility exists that you’ll find yourself broken down on the side of the road. Gerber Collision and Glass wanted to share the following steps from AAA to keep you and your family safe in the event of your vehicle breaks down.

Tips to keep you safe if your vehicle breaks down:

  • Move your vehicle off the road safely away from traffic.
  • Stay inside your vehicle and make sure all passengers stay inside, too. Keep doors locked and only roll down the window enough to ask any passersby to call police.
  • If you can’t move your vehicle off the road, ask all passengers to exit the vehicle when it is safe to do so, and stand away from traffic.
  • If you must walk to a phone, keep your group together.
  • Warn other drivers by raising the vehicle’s hood, tying a white cloth to a door handle or using reflective triangles or flares. Warning devices should be placed far enough away from the vehicle to give oncoming traffic time to react. A good rule of thumb: three devices at 100, 50 and 25 yards from the vehicle – or 300, 200 or 100 feet.

Breaking down on a roadway provides safety challenges so it’s important to be prepared for safety.

Source: What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down, The AAA Guide to Trouble-Free Travel and others

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 windy weather

Driving in windy weather

Every driver should know tips on how to drive in windy weather.  Drivers may encounter high gusts of winds while they are driving.  .

Start off by dropping your speed. Be careful of any branches or trees that may fall onto the road. Driving slowly can reduce impact when running into any unpredicted debris.

Trucks, buses or vehicles towing trailers are the most prone to being blown off the course by the wind.  Pay attention to those vehicles.   Always keep both hands on the wheel to make sure you have control of your vehicle.

Seek shelter if the high winds turn into a tornado.  Don’t ever try and drive faster than the tornado in your car.   If there is no shelter close, exit your vehicle and find a ditch to stay in until it is safe.

If you are home don’t get in your car if you know there is a tornado in your area.  Wait until the bad conditions subside.

Gerber Collision and Glass advise you to always proceed with caution when you are driving in windy weather.

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

Windshield Wiper Motor

Windshield Wiper Motor

An electric motor is what makes the wiper blades move back and forth.  This happens as soon as you turn on your windshield wipers.  The majority of cars have a single wiper motor that controls the wipers on the front of your car.  When a car has a back window wiper, it will have a separate motor. 

The front windshield wiper motor is generally located under the outside vent at the bottom of your windshield. It is what moves the linkage back and forth to the wiper transmissions.  This causes the wiper arms to move. 

The motors could fail and need to be replaced.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to replace the motor to get your wipers back up and running for the rainy season.

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.

Driving in the summer rain

Driving in the summer rain

Gerber Collision and Glass would like to suggest some safety tips for driving in wet weather.  It is imperative that you can see and be seen.  It is more difficult to see other cars and the road.  Please slow down because it takes more time to stop in rainy weather. 

Before you go, make sure you wipe off the bottom of your shoes.  Your shoes will be wet and could slip off the pedals.  Check all of your lights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly. 

Check your tires often.  Bald tires will reduce your traction on the wet roads.  You could end up riding on a layer of water. 

Make sure you replace your wipers once a year.  Bad wipers will distort your view in rainy weather.   Turn on your wipers during bad weather.  Wipers will clear the rain from the windshield with every sweep. 

Make sure you turn on your headlights.  It helps all the other cars see you on the road.  This will keep you safe during rainy weather.  Rain can cause windows to mist up inside the car.  Turn the defroster on and make sure it is on heat.   Drivers should clean their windshield and windows often to help them see well.

If the rain is so heavy that you have no visibility, then it is time to pull over.   Stop at a protected area like a rest area.  If your only option is the roadside, then pull off as far as possible.  Alert other drivers by turning on your emergency flashers. 

Summer is here and so are the rains.  Always use common sense when driving in the rain.  Every driver can make a difference in the rain!

Changing a Tire

Changing a Tire

Have you ever been stranded on the side of the road with a flat tire?  Would you like to learn how to change a tire so you don’t have to ask for help?  Here are some steps from Gerber Collision and Glass on how to change a tire.

Find a flat surface to change the tire.  You don’t want your car to roll.  Put the parking brake on and put your car into park. If you have a standard transmission, put your vehicle in first or reverse. Set a heavy object in front of the front and back tires. Take out the spare tire and the jack. Place the jack under the frame near the tire that you are going to change.  Make sure the jack is in contact with the metal portion of your car’s frame.

Raise the jack until it is supporting the car. Make sure it is not lifting the car.  The jack should be firmly in place against the bottom of the vehicle.  Make sure the jack is perpendicular to the ground.

Remove the hub cap and undo the nuts by turning them counterclockwise. Don’t take them all the way off.  Crank the jack to lift the tire off the ground. You need to lift it high enough to remove the flat tire and change it with a spare.  Take the nuts off all the way.  Remove the tire.  Place the spare tire on the hub.  Align the rim of the spare tire with the wheel bolts, and then put on the lug nuts.

Tighten the nuts by hand until they are all tight.  Lower the car without putting full weight on the tire. Tighten the nuts as much as you can.  Lower the car to the ground and remove the jack. Finish tightening the nuts and replace the hubcap.

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.

Cleaning Your Car Engine

A car owner needs to periodically clean the engine compartment.  This will prevent rust, help find belt wear, and look for oil or fluid leaks.  The proper temperature for cleaning the engine is warm.  You do not want it too hot. 

When the engine is warm, you need to spray it with a non-petroleum based degreaser.  In order to avoid getting degreaser in your face, you should start at the bottom and work your way up.  The degreaser should sit for five minutes.  Use a towel to remove the soiled areas.  After you have cleaned the engine rinse it with water. 

Remove the plastic bags and rubber banks once the engine compartment is clean.  Dry the battery and any puddles.  Start the engine to dry the rest of it.  Wax the painted areas of the engine.  Do not wax the engine itself. 

Disconnect the battery cables and clean the terminals and the battery posts.  You can use a wire brush to do this.  Check all the hinges, shocks, and throttle cables.  Make sure they have a thin coat of non-silicone lubricant.  Check all fluid levels.  Once all these tasks are done, you have completed cleaning your engine.  Gerber Collision and Glass encourage you to clean your engine compartment.

Tinting your car windows

Tinting your car windows is not just a cool look for your car. There are many benefits to tinting your windows. The summer sun is here. The sun causes uncomfortable heat inside your car. Car window tinting blocks up to 71% of solar energy. Tinting will allow you to stay comfortable and prevent overuse of the AC.

If you are in the car for a long time, tint protects you from UV rays. Car window tinting blocks up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. UV protection comes in many grades, and you don’t need to have windows considerably darkened to block UV.

A tinted car window that breaks is safer than a non-tinted window. Tint covers the entire window; therefore, broken glass stays in one piece. This reduces the chance for injury. Cleanup is much easier after a broken window.

Car window tinting can prevent car theft. Security tint makes car windows stronger. A thief that breaks a window still has to deal with a solid panel of glass because the broken glass is held together.

Gerber Collision and Glass advise car owners to have their windows analyzed by a professional. Getting the proper tint for your particular vehicle is essential for look and safety.

Hailstorm Safety Tips

Hailstorm Safety Tips

Hail is one of the most common and costly weather hazards in the United States, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to buildings, vehicles, and crops every year. Help guard against the damaging effect of a hailstorm by following the steps below.

Make A Plan

A hailstorm can disrupt electrical service and is often accompanied by other severe weather events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Prepare your family for the hazards and inconveniences of a hailstorm by creating a disaster preparedness plan, including a disaster survival kit and an emergency evacuation plan.

Stay Informed

Hail often occurs during severe weather patterns, such as strong thunderstorms. When severe weather threatens, tune in to a battery-powered radio for updates. A severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are right for thunderstorms to become severe. A severe thunderstorm warning means that a storm poses an immediate threat to the people and property in its path. This warning may be accompanied by a siren or other community alert system.

Move Inside, Stay Inside

Hailstones vary greatly in size, but even small ones – driven by gravity and strong winds – pose a danger to anything or anyone caught in a storm. As a storm approaches, put vehicles in the garage and bring pets inside. If you are outdoors, go indoors immediately.

Once you’re indoors, close all drapes, blinds, or shades to prevent broken window glass and hailstones from entering your home. If possible, move to a basement, cellar, or other level of the building not directly below the roof. Stay indoors until the storm has passed.

If you’re on the road during a hailstorm, stay in your vehicle and slow down or stop, as roads may become slippery. Once you have pulled over safely, turn your back to windows or cover yourself with a blanket to protect yourself from broken glass. 

Protect Your Roof

Roof damage is a common consequence of hailstorms. Following a strong storm, you should evaluate the condition of your roof to identify any damage and prevent further deterioration.

The Federal Alliance of Safe Homes (FLASH) has information about strengthening your home’s roof decking and shingles against hail and other severe weather. Even if your roof is not currently damaged, you may want to discuss making these changes with a reputable roofing contractor.

Gerber Collision and Glass advises you to protect yourself and your car from damaging hail. 

http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/safety-2/severe-weather-1/hailstorm-safety-tips/

Effects of Acid Rain on Cars

Effects of Acid Rain on Cars

Acid rain is the deposit of damaging toxins.  These pollutants can be wet or dry.  When the rain dries it leaves the acid.  The acid rain stays on the car.  Acid rain can cause damage to a vehicle.   It corrodes paint and makes cars look dirtier.  For the most part, acid rain damages the flat surfaces of a vehicle.  These areas include the trunk, hood and roof.

Avoiding some of the worst acid rain will help save your car’s paint.  Try and park your car in a covered area or a garage.  Have your car regularly washed and hand dry it.  Darker-colored cars will display wear sooner than a light-colored car.  Some manufacturers use acid resistant paints.  Clean your tires to avoid cracking from acid rain. 

You might have acid rain buildup on your windows and windshield if it has a filmy look.  Clean it with a vinegar and water mix.  One cup of vinegar to one quart of water should do the trick.  Hire a professional to have your paint cleaned up that has been exposed to acid rain.  Gerber Collision and Glass would like you to keep your car acid free.