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.

Advertisements

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.

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

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.

Service your transmission

Service your transmission

We all know the drill.  Get your oil changed every three thousand miles.  You here this time and time again to maintain you’re your vehicles engine.  You may be overlooking another maintenance issue that’s just as important.  It is recommended to have your transmission serviced every twenty five thousand miles.  Typical service includes changing the filter and adding new fluid.  It is important to check your vehicles manual for service instructions for your transmission.  All vehicles have different guidelines on what mileage to bring your car in.

It is just as important to keep fresh fluid in your transmission as it is oil in the engine.  Over time, this fluid can turn brown and become less effective.  The more wear and tear on your car, the more your transmission is working overtime.  Gerber Collision and Glass recommend checking your transmission fluid every couple of months.  The fluid should be a reddish color.  If there are any brown spots it could be time for servicing.

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.

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.

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.

Thieves stealing older cars

Thieves stealing older cars

Would a car thieve rather steal an old car or a new one?  Surprisingly, thieves tend to steal older cars because they are easier to snatch.  There is also a demand for their parts.  They don’t steal a car because they want them or because they want to sell them.   Car thieves usually steal in order to strip the car and sell its parts off piecemeal, generating far more funds than the car itself is worth. The majority of stolen cars go to chop shops.

There are a few things you can do to prevent car theft.  Don’t leave your car unlocked or hide your keys in your favorite hiding spot.  Always roll up your windows and keep your keys with you.  Install a car alarm in your car.  Place a sticker on the outside of your car so everyone knows that you have an alarm in your car.

Add a steering column collar to prevent hotwiring, a steering wheel lock, and get a smart key to keep your ride safe.  Many car thefts know how to steal a car even with an alarm, so get a vehicle recovery system to track a stolen car.

If you have safety devices in place, many car insurance companies will give you a discount.  Please do your part in protecting your car from theft to help keep insurance rates down.  Gerber Collision and Glass direct you to always lock your doors.