Safely Road Tripping All Summer Long

Did you know that nearly a third of all accidents happen from Memorial Day to Labor Day? This is about more than bent fenders and wrecked rear bumpers. June is the deadliest month of the year, with a tragic spike in fatal collisions involving teenagers.

Part of this is because the roads are busier. Road trippers and young drivers, unfamiliar with local traffic patterns, are mixing it up with local folks trying to go about their daily routines.

What can be done about this? Though you may feel helpless to prevent every accident, you can stack the odds in your favor with a few simple steps.

Tune It Up

Heat stresses the heck out of your vehicle. Breakdowns and overheating are more common, putting you in harrowing, unsafe driving and roadside situations. Make sure your car is in top running shape. A reputable mechanic will also make sure your tires and brakes are good-to-go. It can be a lifesaver to have a professional check all systems. A fixed headlight, turn signal, or brake light might make the difference between being seen and being hit.

Focused Attention

Windows open. The music blaring. Summer is a time to feel free, but looking down at your device to change your Summer Buzz playlist to Hot August Nights might consume the vital seconds you need to see that traffic ahead has stopped. Same with adjusting the air conditioner. Eating, phone calls, texting, even an animated discussion with a passenger can be even worse. Pullover when you catch yourself getting distracted. It can be a life or death decision.

Beware of Cyclists and Pedestrians

Safely Road Tripping All Summer Long

It’s not just more cars out on the road during summer. There are also more people walking and on bikes. Crosswalks without signals can be especially dangerous. In addition, the kids are out of school. Drive more cautiously near parks, playgrounds, residential areas, and community pools.

The law in California is to give cyclists 3 feet of space, but 4 is safer. It may take you a moment more to maneuver around a bike, but a moment of impatience can cause a lifetime of regret. Use your turn signals so everyone you see (and those you don’t) can clearly see your intentions!

Straight Talk With Your Teen

It’s pretty simple. Car accidents kill more teens than anything else. Your teen is going to want to go out on adventures with their newfound freedom. Talk to them about the importance of safe driving. Speak to them in plain language about the dangers of distracted driving, having too many passengers, and driving too fast or while sleepy or intoxicated. Follow up so they will know you’re serious.

And be a good example. Seeing a sermon is much more effective than hearing one!

At Cline Collision Center, we want you to be safe all summer long. But when you run into trouble (or trouble runs into you) bring your car to us and we’ll return it in pre-collision condition. We offer superior craftsmanship and use only quality parts which is why it’s no accident that we have so many satisfied customers. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online for the very best in Sonoma County autobody repair!

When it Comes to Safety, Heavier Isn’t Better

Old cars are bigger and heavier and, therefore, must be safer, right?

Before you trade in your Prius for a ‘57 Chevy, you might want to think about how safety considerations and crash technology have made cars safer, despite weight differences.

Vehicle Safety

Today’s vehicles are designed with collision energy management. This means vehicles now absorb and then transfer the energy of a crash around the passenger compartment. Crumple zones, crush zones, or crash zones are built-in safety features that change the velocity and momentum of a crash. This is called controlled deformation. Basically, engineers do all they can to wrap you in bubble wrap (airbags) and let the rest of the car fold and wrinkle all around you. These areas even help airbag deployment by slowing down the impact to airbag zones, allowing the bags to fully deploy.

Reliable Repairs

That’s why it’s so important to have your repairs done by a Gold Class certified shop. This designation guarantees that all areas of a shop—Estimator, Non-Structural Technician, Steel Structural Technician, and Refinish Technician—understand how to get you and your car safely back on the road. Ongoing training is essential to keep pace with all the technology and advancements that keep you safe.

That ’57 Chevy may look cool, but it doesn’t have the new technologies that ensure you are as safe as possible as you drive. Adaptive cruise control measures how close you are to other vehicles and automatically slows you down when you are too close. Adaptive headlights sense when to turn on high beams and when to shut them off. Blindspot detection helps you with lane changes while lane departure warning and prevention stops you from unintended lane changes. Park assist and back over protection allow you to see and sense when a person or car is behind you. And forward collision avoidance keeps you safe when it senses slowed or stopped traffic ahead.     

Of course, we love working on old cars, and will gladly help you out with your Bel Air. But if you have a modern car, we have the commitment and knowledge to give you personable service and the highest quality repairs possible because your safety is on the line. Schedule your next auto body repair online or call us at 707-591-9909 today!

What Are the Benefits of Electric vs Hybrid Vehicles?

You’re trying to decide whether you should buy an electric or hybrid vehicle – congratulations! You’re taking a step toward the future. As we move away from gasoline engines and toward a more sustainable fuel or power source for our cars and trucks, we’re getting that much closer to reducing our negative impact on our air, our environment, and our planet. It’s a big step. But now comes the bigger question: which greener vehicle do you choose and why?

What Are the Benefits of Electric vs Hybrid Vehicles?

First, let’s review the difference between an electric vehicle and a hybrid vehicle.

Electric vehicles, or EVs, are powered by electricity alone. That electricity can be generated in a number of ways depending on the type of vehicle, from solar panels to batteries holding a charge. Many vehicles run on electric power, including trains and buses, but for our purposes, we’re discussing personal vehicles like cars and trucks.

Hybrid vehicles use combined engines that can run on both gasoline (or ethanol) and electricity. They are a marriage between traditional combustion engines and newer electric vehicles. There are different types of hybrids – some generate their own power by charging the battery through the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking, while others are “plug-in” vehicles, which means they charge more like a typical electric car by using a charging station.

What are the pros and cons of an electric car?

These days with the push for alternate energy and greener solutions, there are a lot of rebates and incentives for owning an electric vehicle. Electric cars offer a lot more simplicity than their combustion engine counterparts – their engines are more streamlined and don’t have nearly as many moving parts. This makes repairs and service relatively straightforward. Not a lot of surprises there. They release no emissions, which eliminates the need for emissions testing, and electricity is a more affordable option than gasoline when you crunch the numbers. They also operate very quietly – no rumbling engine to worry about.

On the con side, electric vehicles require a higher upfront cost and a significant amount of time to charge. There’s a limited range to a full battery charge and far less accessibility when it comes to recharging your car – charging stations remain much more difficult to find than gas stations. If you don’t have access to a proper charging outlet at your home, charging there can be a problem.

What are the pros and cons of a hybrid car?

There are different types of hybrid vehicles, but we’ll be focusing mainly on a “parallel” hybrid, which is what most people think of when they think of these cars. The advantage here is that you get excellent fuel efficiency and save on gas costs thanks to an electric engine that doesn’t require you to rely solely on your combustion engine. For traveling longer distances, these cars are ideal because you can switch over to the internal combustion engine and find gas more easily. It’s a great compromise between cost and alternative energy.

However, they are more expensive than a standard ICE vehicle and typically have lower power output. The ICE still leaves the issue of emissions. While lesser, they are still a concern, as is emissions testing.

What do you think? Which sort of vehicle feels right for you?