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.

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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

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!

Driving with your hazards on

Driving with your hazards on

Do you ever notice people driving around with their hazards on?  It may be raining or snowing, but are we supposed to use our hazards when driving in inclement weather? In most states it is illegal to drive with these lights on.  They are only to be used when your vehicle is stationary along the side of the road.  Gerber Collision and Glass urge drivers to check with your states’ law on this situation.  The law varies from state to state on this issue, but for the most part, driving with the hazards on is illegal. 

Hazard lights disable the turn signal lights, making driving in bad weather even more dangerous.  They also make it harder to tell if the motorist ahead is tapping on the break.  They may also make you think a vehicle is pulled off to the side of the road, when in actuality they are right in front of you.  It is advised to pull into a gas station, or off the road a safe distance, if the weather is too extreme to drive in.

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.

Emergency vehicle kit

 

`Emergency vehicle kit

We may not all be experts, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have the best tools in case of an emergency with our vehicle. Here are some things you should have in your emergency car kit.

A good vehicle tool kit includes:

    * Jumper cables
    * Screwdrivers—Phillips and flat head
    * Pliers
    * Set of socket wrenches
    * Duct tape
    * Electrical wire tape
    * Electrical wire spray
    * Flashlight with extra batteries
    * Small fire extinguisher

 

Gerber Collision and Glass recommend every vehicle be equipped with a vehicle tool kit.  Be prepared and avoid being stranded without any means to repair a broken down vehicle.

Get your car in summer shape

Get your car in summer shape

Well, it’s beginning to feel a lot like summer out there. The temperature is starting to rise. The kids are almost out of school. The barbecue grill is getting ready for weekly cookouts. Yes, summer is almost upon us once again. It also means the start of another rainy season. Have you thought about if your vehicle is prepared for the wet conditions? Now is a good time to get that car in summer shape.

Check your tires. Bald tires are very dangerous, especially in rainy conditions. Have your tires balanced and rotated. This will help the car grip the road better. Make sure all your lights are working properly. During summer rainstorms Gerber Collision and Glass advise drivers to use their headlights. Remember, you can barely see the road in most summer storms, headlights are critical in avoiding a collision.

Have your brakes checked. Make sure the pads are not worn. Check your windshield wipers. Chances are, if they haven’t been replaced since last summer your vehicle is due for a new pair. Be smart out there this summer. Driving in heavy rain is dangerous. Keep your speed low and your attention high.

Summer is on the way

Summer is on the way

Well, it’s almost the end of another school year.  It’s time to start the barbecues and pool parties.  It’s also time to prepare your vehicle for the summer heat.  Heat can put tremendous pressure on your vehicles engine.  Your car needs to stay cool just like we do, especially during the brutally hot summer months.  Make sure your radiator is cooling your vehicle properly.  Check the temperature gauge and make sure you are not running hot.

Gerber Collision and Glass strongly recommend having a certified mechanic inspect your radiator and thermometer before the heat arrives.  It is also recommended to have your battery tested if you have not replaced it within a few years.  It is just as important to prepare your vehicle for extreme heat as it is with the frigid cold.  Stay cool this summer.

10 things your car would tell you

10 things your car would tell you

 

 

 

 

1.  Change my engine oil

2.  Change my air filter

3.  Rotate my tires

4.  Change my fuel filter

5.  Replace my belt and hoses

6.  Give me a tune up

7.  Check and clean my plugs

8.  Replace my spark plug wires

9.  Check my PCV valve

10.  Keep me clean and in good condition

Keep your speed down

Keep your speed down

Speeding tickets can be very expensive and give you unwanted points on your license. Drivers need to make the smart decision and obey the speed limit. Law enforcement is looking for speeders and giving them harsh penalties.

Pay attention to the speed limit signs on the side of the road. Check your speedometer to make sure you are not going over the limit. Don’t get distracted by talking on the phone or doing something that takes your focus away from the road.

Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the aftermath of vehicles involved in accidents. More often than not, these vehicles were speeding or hit by someone going over the limit. Be smart out there on the highways. The road is no place to lose your patience.

Don’t race the light

Don’t race the light

Lately there has been a rise in collisions due to running traffic lights.  We see vehicles all the time speeding through red lights or pushing on the gas through yellow ones.  We need to focus on safe driving, especially when coming to traffic lights.  In recent years, many cities have installed cameras at traffic lights.  If you run it, your vehicle and license plate will get their picture taken.  You will be issued a traffic citation and may have to appear in court.

 There has also been an increase in school bus accidents.  Drivers racing to get through the light have caused major collisions with these buses and children have been seriously hurt.  Gerber Collision and Glass want to remind everyone to take it slow.  Running a red light is never worth it.  Causing a serious accident or being issued a hefty ticket is all that will result.

Who’s ready for a road trip?

Who’s ready for a road trip?

It is finally here.  The road trip you have been waiting for.  You have packed your last minute things the night before.  But are you packing in a smart way?  You can’t pack your entire house, so you need to make clever packing decisions.

Pack for the space you have.  If you are traveling in a van or SUV, then you would have more room for bags.  If you riding in a smaller compact car you would not be able to bring as much.   Pack your essential items first and then if you have room left you can pack your fun things.  Utilize all the space in the vehicle for your things.  Don’t forget under the seats.  

Make sure all the passengers going on the trip pack for the space in the vehicle too.  Everyone should bring an equal amount of bags on the trip.  Advise your passengers not to over pack so you can have a comfortable ride.

There are a few must have items.  Food, snacks and drinks are very important to pack.  You could drive for miles without a gas station.  If you get hungry or thirsty you already have these items available.  A first aid kit is another great item to have on board.  You don’t plan on getting sick or hurt, but if it happens you will be ready.   Make sure you have your credit cards and enough cash in case of emergencies on the road.  Don’t forget to visit your local Gerber Collision and Glass for any auto body repair you need before your road trip.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Did you know that April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month?  We need to look at some issues that are still occurring on a regular basis that inhibit a driver’s ability to focus.  In most cases, common sense is the first issue that goes out the door.  We need to start making better decisions behind the wheel.  Remember, we are not the only ones in danger when we lose attention on the road. 

If you must talk on the phone while you drive, make sure you have a hands free phone.  Cell phone use while driving is still the number one distraction for drivers.  We see people all the time texting while driving.  This leads to more collisions than driving under the influence.  Wait until you get to your destination or pull over if you have to text or dial your phone.

We need to also focus on distractions such as the radio and eating in the car.  Messing with the radio is also very dangerous because it takes our eyes off the road.  Pre- set your radio stations so you don’t have to constantly play with the radio.  Eating in the car can also be dangerous.  Any action that involves removing your hands from the wheel is considered a distraction.

Gerber Collision and Glass want to encourage drivers to practice safe habits behind the wheel.  It may be National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, but safety should be the number one focus every day.

Child seats and safety

When it comes to your child and hitting the road, there is no excuse for not having them in a safety seat.  Select a seat based on your child’s age, height and weight.  Children under the age of one should always ride in a rear facing child seat.  It is a good idea to obtain a mirror so that you can see your child when in a rear facing seat.  It is also urged to keep your one to three year old in a rear facing seat.  Until they meet the height requirements, they should remain in them.  The next step for your child would be a front facing seat.  They may be required to travel in them until age seven, depending upon your state’s law.  Children age’s eight to twelve may need a booster seat depending height.  Again, check the laws in your area for further assistance.              

The NHTSA reports that crashes are the leading cause of death in children age three to fourteen.  Gerber Collision and Glass strongly urge parents to practice safe driving, especially when transporting kids.  Even a minor collision can cause serious harm to a child that is not in restraints.  So before you buckle up make sure your child is secure.  Double check their belts and make sure they are not too tight or too loose.  Always use common sense when driving with children.  Remember this phrase.  If they’re not in their OWN seat, they’re not in the RIGHT seat.

Share the road

We see motorcyclists everywhere.  Cruising down the highway or revving their motors at a stop light.  We see them parked at a bike shop or displaying their Harleys’ at a motorcycle show.  We see them all the time, day and night, but are we really aware of them.  We must share the road with motorcycles.  There are some issues that rarely get talked about when you are driving near them.  These tips can help motorists and bikers maintain safety while driving.

                Motorcycles are visually smaller than automobiles, so it is extremely important to check your blind spot when changing lanes.  Many drivers do not anticipate a motorcycle.  Always be aware of the possibility that one could be present.  It is recommended that motorcyclists drive with their lights on.  This gives an extra measure of safety.  Gerber Collision and Glass strongly recommend installing blind spot mirrors.  However, drivers still need to look for themselves.  Use the mirrors as a double check tool.  We must be courteous to bikers and be aware of their presence.

Play defense during March madness

Play defense during March madness

 

It is March madness everywhere you turn. The final four is coming up. Did your team make the tournament? If they did, chances are they played good defense to get there. Maybe we should take a look at another place to play good defense. Be the number one defender behind the wheel of your vehicle. Defensive driving can help you avoid collisions and make you a safer driver.

Being a defensive driver does not mean being a scared driver. It simply means being aware of your surroundings and the situation you are driving in. For instance, if you’re on a two lane highway and someone is on your bumper, like a point guard on a forward, let them pass. Don’t play games speeding up. This is where you want to be a defensive driver. Gerber Collision and Glass have seen the results careless driving can produce. Be cautious and always know what is going on around you when you are behind the wheel. After all, we all want to be part of the game tomorrow!

Get your vehicle more fuel efficient

Get your vehicle more fuel efficient

As you know, the price of gas is skyrocketing.  It is at an all-time high for the month of March and expected to only increase.  We at Gerber Collision and Glass know how stressful it can be filling up the tank at nearly four dollars a gallon.  We have included some recommendations to get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle.  They can help you save some big bucks at the pump!

Make sure your tires are inflated properly.  Low air pressure can significantly decrease gas mileage.  Check the tire or your vehicle’s manual for proper levels.  Limit the amount of time you run your car in idle.  You can burn nearly two gallons of fuel per hour, for a vehicle that is not even moving.  Drive more efficiently.  Limit your speed.  The faster you go, the more gas you burn.  Also, avoid excelarating too fast.  Keep your rpm’s down.

  Keep up on your vehicle’s maintenance.  A car that is tuned up will be much more fuel efficient.  Use the air conditioner only when you absolutely need it.  Your air conditioner is one of the biggest consumers of gas.  Shop around.  Many news channels post stations with the lowest prices.  Avoid buying gas near airports, they raise their prices considerably.  Limit your driving by combing your errands.  You will be surprised how much less gas you’ll use.

Road Safety Tips: What to Do When Your Vehicle Breaks Down

Having your vehicle break down while driving is not a fun experience.  With the following Road Safety Tips from Gerber Collision and Glass you’ll be prepared in the even that your vehicle does break down while driving.

It may seem obvious, but the first thing you want to do is pull off the road.  Often in a panic, drivers will just stay in the lane where the car has stopped, but you want to pull as far away from traffic as possible to prevent an auto collision.

Next, alert other motorists that your vehicle is not drivable by using cones and emergency signals.  This will help drivers who are traveling at high speeds see your vehicle off to the side from a far distance and be able to switch lanes.

Always, remain in your vehicle.  Safety experts agree that under most circumstances if you are able to pull away from traffic, it is safest to remain in your vehicle until a law enforcement officer or road service provider arrives.

Finally, call for assistance.  If you have a emergency road side service or insurance policy that cover’s auto breakdown it’s best to contact them right away so they can send help.  Keep in mind that some service plans may only cover specific vehicles, so ask while you are on the phone with them.

Following those few safety tips in the event of a vehicle break-down will make the process a bit easier for you.