If The Airbags in Your Car Deploy, Is Your Car Totaled?

Airbag exploded at a car accident,Car Crash air bag,Airbag work and illuminated

When a car is totaled or written off, it means that the cost of the damage exceeds the vehicle’s market value. If you have a comprehensive policy, the insurance company will pay the cash value of the car, minus deductibles, so you can purchase a new one.

A common question we hear is, “My airbags deployed during the accident. Will my car be totaled?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t straightforward. Airbag deployment doesn’t necessarily mean that your car will be totaled, but there are some cases where it might be. Here’s a look at what you should know.

Will My Car Be Considered a Total Loss?

Whether your car will be considered a total loss really depends on its value and the amount of damage it’s sustained. If you have a newer car or one that’s more expensive, there’s a better chance that you’ll be able to repair it. If you have an older car, however, it’s more likely it will be totaled. For example, if your car is worth $4,500 and it will cost $4,000 to repair it, your insurance company will likely consider it a total loss.

Airbags are essentially a “one-time use” part—after they deploy, they must be replaced. Replacements can be expensive, ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000 a piece, depending on your vehicle; this doesn’t include installation fees. If two airbags deploy during an accident, the costs can quickly add up. When you add on collision repair, it’s easy to see how an older vehicle with a lower value might end up being totaled.

Typically, insurance will cover airbag replacement if:

  • Your car isn’t totaled
  • You’re not at fault for the accident
  • You have collision insurance

If your car is totaled, your insurance provider will determine the replacement cost, then subtract the depreciation amount. Depreciation is figured out by looking at factors like the car’s mileage, wear and tear, dings on the doors, and faded paint.

Can I Appeal My Insurance Provider’s Decision?

If you don’t feel like your insurance provider’s decision on whether the car is totaled is correct, you can do your own research to determine its cash value and depreciation and ask them to reconsider. If you decide to do this, keep good notes on what you discover and be prepared to show proof of how you reached your conclusion. Or, you can get your car independently appraised.

Getting into an accident of any size is a hassle. However, safety should always be your top priority. If your vehicle isn’t totaled, it’s important to have your airbags replaced, along with the sensors, modules, and wiring. Whether you’ve been in an accident and the airbags deployed, or your airbag warning light is on, Cline Collision Center is here to help. We’ll assess the damage to your vehicle and work with your insurance company to coordinate the necessary repairs. Call us today at (707) 591-9909 to schedule an estimate appointment or book an appointment online.

How Has Commute Traffic Changed Since the Start of the Pandemic?

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Sonoma County, life is starting to slowly return to normal. However, if you commute to work during typical business hours, you may have noticed rush hour doesn’t seem to feel as “rushed” as it used to.

Heavy traffic on one of the freeways crossing Silicon Valley, San Francisco bay area, California

You’re not alone. Traffic data from across the country suggests that the daily commute has changed drastically since the start of the pandemic, particularly in the morning. And, traffic experts aren’t sure if it will actually return to its pre-pandemic patterns.

In general, rush hour trends have shown that traffic has become more spread out, with more drivers postponing their trips to the office until later in the morning. As more Americans have transitioned to remote work or a hybrid schedule, there’s more variance with when people are commuting. Although it’s expected that more people will return to the workplace following Labor Day, traffic experts believe that traffic will continue to stay lighter than it was prior to 2020.

Less Road Time Has a Downside

Less congestion on the road seems like it would be a good thing, right? Commutes are quicker. There’s less stop-and-go traffic (and the accompanying stress and potential for road rage). What’s not to like?

Unfortunately, less road time comes with a dangerous downside. Fewer people commuting means the road is nice and open, which encourages speeding and increases the potential for deadly accidents. In fact, it’s more dangerous out there than it was before the pandemic.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled on U.S. roads was 1.37, a 23% increase from 2019. In addition, the National Safety Council also estimates that just under 4. 8 million people were seriously injured in collision in 2020.

With fewer people on the road, people can drive faster. With faster speeds, there are typically more reckless maneuvers, lower reaction time for braking, more occurrences of drivers losing control, and other factors that lead to collisions and injury. To add to the issue, police aren’t stepping in the way they had prior to the pandemic, so many drivers have been speeding because they know they can get away with it.

Staying Safe on the Road

Whether you commute to the office daily or work remotely, it’s important to keep in mind that many people are still adjusting to life after a year of lockdown—and more traffic on the roads. Some drivers have become accustomed to driving well over the speed limit over the past year. Stay safe by keeping your eyes on the road, limiting distractions, and give people who want to go faster than the speed limit allows a wide berth.

If you do get into an accident, we’re here to help! From high-quality OEM repairs to complete insurance coordination on your behalf, we make the repair process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Give us a call at (707) 591-9909 or contact us online. Stay safe out there!

How Can You Tell If It’s the Right Auto Body Shop?

You have lots of automotive body shops to choose from. How can you sort out the good from the bad? Then, how do you choose between the good and the best?

How Can You Tell If Its The Right Auto Body SHop

Most people can’t tell a wire welder from a squeeze-type resistance spot welder, making it impossible for most folks to look at a shop to see if it is well equipped. But you should look to see if the shop is relatively clean and organized. Just because autobody work is messy and dirty doesn’t mean the work area shouldn’t look professional.

Are their plaques, certificates, or affiliations on the wall or website? Are they members of trade organizations and training programs? Here are some to look for:

OEM Certification 

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certification means that a body shop has been acknowledged to only use factory-approved parts. It also means that the facility has the correct equipment to install those parts, and uses only factory-approved procedures. OEM-certified shops offer high-quality repairs that have been approved by automakers, giving you the professionalism you need and the price break and convenience you want. Cline Collision Center is proud to say we’ve hard to get these designations, which include certifications from InfinitiNissan, Fiat/Chrysler (FCA), Honda/AcuraFord, Hyundai, and Kia

I-CAR Training

The Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) is a non-profit training organization focused on improving collision repair. They make the necessary knowledge and skills to complete repairs accessible to anyone in the industry willing to work hard enough. We are proud to have earned Gold Class status from I-CAR, proof that we have achieved the highest level of training possible.

ASE Certified: The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) tests and certifies automotive repair professionals to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service. This takes the guesswork out of automotive repair. You don’t have to “hope” you’re going to a reputable shop. Instead, it lets you know you are going to a shop staffed with professionals committed to understanding your vehicle and keeping up with always-changing technology.    

Certifications and honors are all well and good, but you need results. That’s why, when you have autobody damage, you should come to the pros at Cline Collision Center. We  provide top-quality workmanship and customer service, including help with navigating insurance challenges. Call 707-591-9909 or contact us online today!

How to Steer Clear of Five Common Accidents

Some old sayings say it all. “Safety is no accident” is a great example. Avoiding accidents requires focus and attention when you’re driving. The best way to keep you, your loved ones, and your vehicle in pre-crash condition is to steer clear of collisions. Take a look at these five common accidents and critical strategies to avoid them.

Rear-Enders

How To Steer Clear Of Five Common Accidents

You look down, away, or daydream momentarily. Next thing you know, traffic is stopped in front of you. You stomp on the brake pedal but if you look up too late, you have damaged their car, your car and possibly the people inside. Space is your BFF here. You should always maintain a safe distance between you and the next car. Distracted driving is your worst enemy. Every time you look at your phone or even adjust your radio, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Eyes up and attention on the road save money, health, and heartache.

Parking Problems

Hitting a car in a parking lot is embarrassing and costs you time and money. Getting hit is frustrating and may have the same costs. Take special care when backing out of a space—drive slowly and closely watch directly behind and to each side. Cars and pedestrians often assume you see them. Also, if it’s tough for you to get into a space, it means it will be hard for the other drivers too. To make your car less vulnerable to damage, make sure you choose a spot that has plenty of room.

The Plain Truth About Hydroplaning

Driving when it’s wet outside is tough enough. Braking distance increases; visibility decreases. One of the most dangerous aspects of heavy rain is that it can cause your tires to lose contact with the road, especially at higher speeds. Make sure you have plenty of tread left on your tires. Don’t stomp on the brakes if you feel yourself hydroplaning. Slowly ease up on the accelerator and apply steady pressure to the brakes until you regain traction.

Colliding with Wildlife

It’s an unfortunate but real element of driving. Cars kill up to 1.5 million animals each year. These impacts damage vehicles, injure and sometimes even kill drivers and passengers. The larger the animal, the greater the impact. Animal crossing signs are placed strategically—pay attention! Stay alert and use your high beams on dark rural roads when there is no oncoming traffic.

T-Bones (Not the Good Kind)

Side impacts, aka T-bones, are some of the most dangerous collisions that drivers encounter. Cars are less able to absorb impact energy on the sides. This leaves passengers more susceptible to injury. When driving, don’t assume you have the right of way. Be aware of distracted drivers running stoplights and stop signs or drifting out of their lanes. You can’t stop others from poor driving, but an extra moment of awareness can allow you to stop or slow and make a big difference in the damage.

Another old saying is: “Accidents happen.” When they do, call Cline Collision Center at 707-591-9909 or contact us online. We think strategically about how to best serve our clients and return cars to pre-collision condition. That’s why we only use quality parts and offer superior craftsmanship. It’s no accident that we have so many satisfied customers!