Gloves? Check. Jacket? Check. Beanie? Check. You wouldn’t go out into the cold without being prepared, right?
There’s no difference with cold-weather driving. You need to be prepared for changing conditions.
For example, since school is in session, there are more cars and pedestrians out and about in fall and winter than in summer. But that’s just the beginning of cold weather issues to contend with. Fall and winter also brings fog, high winds, and extra moisture to the roadway. Are you prepared?
Following too closely is one of the surest ways to get in an accident. Especially in the rain. The first rain of the year is particularly dangerous when rainwater pools on top of dust and oil that has soaked into asphalt. This makes streets extremely slick. Be sure to give yourself an extra car length or two of space when you are behind another vehicle. You also want to make sure your wiper blades are working well—you need to be able to see the road so you can pick up signs of trouble quickly. Replace old wiper blades if they are streaking and smearing.
When cold air meets sunshine or warmer surfaces, a regular occurrence in cold weather, fog makes it difficult to see changing road conditions. Slow down when it’s foggy and give yourself extra space. You never know when you will need some extra braking time!
The sun is lower in the sky. This produces more glare that can impair vision, especially when driving east in the morning or west in the evening. That burning in your eyes can make it hard to see pedestrians, bicycles, or other cars. Traffic lights, stop signs, and other road signage can also be difficult to see. Get a good pair of sunglasses and keep them in your car at all times. Also, clean that windshield!So, when the weather gets colder, what are the best ways to make driving as safe as possible? If you said you were going to slow it down, give vehicles more space, and takes measures to increase visibility, you have answered correctly! No matter what precautions you take, though, accidents still happen. At Cline Collision Center, we will bring your vehicle back to pre-collision condition. We offer a full slate of autobody services, from dent removal to high-end painting and auto detailing. Contact us online or call us at 707-591-9909 today for a warm and relaxing auto body repair in Windsor!
When Bald Isn’t Beautiful
Going bald is not something most people hope for, but it’s a fact of life for many. Nearly two-thirds of men will experience significant hair loss by the time they’re 50 years old. It is also something that doesn’t have to get in the way of a healthy, happy life.
Unfortunately, the same is not true of bald tires.
Driving on worn down tires is downright dangerous. More than one-quarter of all auto crashes involve at least one car with tires that have treads of less than 1/16 of an inch.
Why Not Tread Lightly?
Your tires are engineered with specifically designed grooves or channels that grasp the surface of the road. They give you the traction you need to get a grip in rain, snow, ice, or mud. Slippery roads are manageable only because these channels force water and slick material away from the surface that contacts the road. Tread also makes sure steering remains stable so that you can avoid trouble in an emergency.
It takes a lot of friction to keep your car connected to the road. This friction causes heat. Tires with low or no tread cause heat buildup that can lead to a blowout. With enough tread, your tires stay cooler by allowing air to flow between the grooves. Further, when you have worn tires, water gets between your tire and the road leading to hydroplaning. Modern tread patterns are great at channeling water away from the tire surface. This can’t happen when there isn’t enough of a channel!
Hey Mister, Got a Quarter?
Regular inspections are a great idea. If you insert a penny into the tread and see the top of Lincoln’s head, you have less than one-sixteenth of an inch and should get new tires now. For those who want to error on the side of increased safety—try the same test, but with a quarter. You have 1/8 of an inch left If you can see the top of Washington’s head. This means you are within the manufacturer’s specs, but there might be some compromise on stopping distance and handling in difficult circumstances. You should also look for sidewall cracks, bulges or blisters that can develop over time. All of these are serious and require immediate attention! At Cline Collision Center, we know it’s difficult enough to safely navigate your vehicle without making it harder on yourself. We don’t want you to get in an accident because your tires were going bald and needed to be replaced. However, we understand that accidents happen – and we are here for you when they do. Just call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for a full-slate of auto body repair services in Santa Rosa, including auto detailing, dent removal, and exact-match painting.