Tips to Avoid Auto Collisions On Snowy Roads

A white toyota vehicle is driving in a snow storm

Driving in snowy conditions can be a very slippery subject. Even seasoned drivers who live in parts of the country with harsh winters can have a hard time driving on snowy surfaces. These less than desirable weather conditions cause slippery roads and are a factor in half a million crashes according to AAA

While staying at home would be the ideal scenario during these conditions, sometimes staying put is not an option. Thankfully, car technology such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Antilock Braking System (ABS) has been implemented over the years improving vehicle responsiveness and safety. With that technology in mind, here are some helpful tips to make sure you get to your destination safely next time you’re on the road in snowy conditions.

Get the Right Tires

Snow or winter tires will be your best friend when driving in inclement weather. Although not everyone needs winter tires, if you live in an area where snowy surfaces are common it will be your best bet. This is because winter tires are designed to cut through snow and better grip the road. Additionally, the tread is formulated to be softer and grabs the asphalt more effectively in cold weather, according to Wired.

Slow Down and Look Ahead

While this tip can be applied to anytime you’re on the road, it is especially important during snowy conditions. Look ahead to anticipate your next moves and not make sudden, jerky movements, which could make you lose control of your vehicle. According to Car and Driver, you should allow double the stopping distance when the road is wet, triple on snow, and even more on ice.

Make Use of Your ABS System

ABS systems have been included in every car since 2012 and this system will come in handy if you have to brake in snowy or icy conditions. To engage your ABS system all you have to do is press down on the pedal and do not let go. The great thing about this system is that the computer will adjust the braking force at each wheel to allow you to maneuver while simultaneously slowing down.

Do Not Rely On AWD

AWD’s primary role is to provide forward traction. It will not help when it comes to cornering or stopping since deceleration is much more difficult in harsh conditions. This leaves many drivers with a false sense of security thinking their AWD abilities exceed what it can actually accomplish.

Do Not Panic During Skids

Although easier said than done, try not to panic or make any movements that will make you lose further control of your car when skidding. Instead, try to follow these steps from Car and Driver

For a front-wheel skid, do not hit the brakes, instead, take your foot off the pedals and wait for the front tires to regain traction. Then steer your car in the direction you want to go in.

For a rear-wheel skid, again, do not hit the brakes but quickly steer in the direction your car is sliding too. Do not try to overcorrect and steer in the opposite direction.

Other Helpful Tips

  • Keep an emergency kit in your car with essentials (blankets, first aid kit, food, water, flashlights, etc.) in case you have to stay in your car on the side of the road until the storm passes 
  • Keep your headlights clear of snow to increase visibility
  • Make sure your wipers are in good condition
  • Check that snow is not blocking the exhaust as carbon monoxide can make it’s way back inside the car
  • If you can and are willing to, find an empty lot where you can practice your steering during skids and learn when and how to use your ABS systems. But always be safe

Ric’s Body & Paint Can Restore Your Car

If you’ve suffered a car collision while driving in harsh winter conditions, Ric’s Body & Paint is here for you. Whether it is minor dents or major damage, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts to the manufacturer’s specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of collision repair services.

9 Tips To Avoid Animal Collisions On The Road

A large deer standing in the middle of the road collisions

Coming across wildlife while driving is not uncommon, especially when driving close to the mountains, woods, or countryside. Drivers can come across all kinds of animals including deer, moose, elk, horses, cows, and even bears. Even though these events are not common, drivers should stay alert as these scary situations can develop in split seconds. Animal-related collisions can result in serious damage to your vehicle, but more importantly, injuries to yourself and passengers. Unfortunately, in some cases, these types of collisions can prove to be fatal. 

These tips will help you stay aware and remain calm while hopefully avoiding collisions the next time you come across any wildlife on the road.

Look Out For Signs

Look out for yellow traffic signs on the side of the road. These signs are placed in highly trafficked areas by wildlife and should be your first warning.

Look Ahead

Always stay alert of your surroundings, especially near the mountains or wood areas. Look ahead to avoid any sudden movements.

Slow Down

Always stay within the speed limit, especially if you’re in an area prone to wildlife. Slow down briefly while in the area to give yourself enough time to break if you come across an animal. This will also make your vehicle easier to maneuver. 

Stay Alert During Dusk and Dawn

Wildlife is more active during dusk and dawn, this is also the time with less visibility on the road so stay aware during these times. Use your brights to increase your visibility, but be courteous to other drivers and turn them off to nearby oncoming traffic.

Keep Time Of The Year In Mind

Wildlife is constantly on the move. During mating season, animals will track smells in search of a mate. This tends to last from October to January. It’s also important to look out during the springtime, as families are more likely to be moving around.

Watch For Herds

Speaking of families, animals usually travel in packs. If you come across an animal on the road there is more than likely another one close by. Wait a few seconds before proceeding to make sure no other animals are trailing behind.

Use Your Horn

If you spot an animal in the distance, slow down and honk your horn. This might scare the animal away from the road.

Use The Center Lane

If you are able, use the center lane of the road. This will give you a better chance to react to any wildlife entering from either side of the road.

Brake and Remain In Your Lane

If a collision is inevitable do not swerve out of the way. Even though trying to avoid hitting the animal might be a natural instinct, swerving out of the way might result in a worse outcome. Hitting another vehicle, losing control of your car, or hitting a tree will result in worse damage than hitting an animal most of the time. Hit your brakes firmly and reduce your speed as much as possible. Ease up on the brakes once you make contact in order to avoid having the animal go through your windshield.

Suffered a Collision?

Encountering wildlife on the road can be a scary and tense situation, therefore, staying aware of your surroundings is key in avoiding collisions. Some things are out of our control, and accidents can happen in a matter of seconds.If you’ve suffered a collision Ric’s Body & Paint will be there for you. Whether you have minor dents or major damage to your vehicle, our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace all damaged parts back to the manufacturer’s specifications. Contact us today to learn more about our wide range of collision repair services.

What Exactly is Eco-Friendly Car Paint?

A paint technician is applying red eco-friendly car paint to a car Ric's Body & Paint

If you haven’t noticed, there has been a call to action in most industries to be more sustainably responsible. Now more than ever, consumers are calling for businesses to incorporate eco-friendly systems into their operations. This trend is starting to pop up in the auto body repair industry, and Ric’s Body & Paint welcomes it with open arms. As one of Scottsdale’s premier collision repair shops, we specialize in applying eco-friendly paint to our customer’s rides. 

What Exactly is Eco-Friendly Car Paint?

The key difference between eco-friendly paint and traditional solutions is that traditional paints are solvent-borne, while sustainable options are waterborne. Traditional paint will use petrochemical products that contain a large amount of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to thin the paint. You’ll often find VOCs in cigarette smoke, car exhaust, and cleaning products – so they are not very good for the air. Waterborne paints are thinned with water to cut down the amount of VOCs that dissipate into the air, reducing the auto body shop’s environmental impact.

Eco-Friendly Options Can Be Higher Quality Than Traditional Paint Options

Many people assume that eco-friendly car paint is inferior to traditional paint, however, this is a major misconception. In fact, many professionals believe waterborne paints perform better than solvent-borne options. Experts have noticed several benefits to waterborne paints, such as:

  • Superior color matching capabilities
  • Requires fewer coats
  • Drys faster than traditional paint

Eco-friendly products are of higher quality, therefore, consumers may see it reflected in the price. This is partially due to the extra processes it must go through to obtain certifications and tests. Customers who look for sustainable options will appreciate the business’ eco-friendly initiative and reduced environmental impact. 

In Need of Some Serious Paint Repair?

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are experts in color matching and applying paint to damaged vehicles. We use the best quality waterborne paint to make your car look like it’s just rolled out of the dealership. Contact us today to let us know what we can do for you.

Handling Bad Drivers on Arizona Highways

A driver is initating in safe driving and being cautious of bad drivers

In case you haven’t heard, Arizona was ranked 6th in the country for bad drivers by SmartAsset. Their report was corroborated by another study from The Road Information Program highlighting the state’s recorded 1.09 highway deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled on the state’s interstates in 2018. This is twice the national average of .58 deaths that same year.  

With so much wreckage occurring on our interstates, the question is why are they happening so often? What can we do as drivers to avoid collisions? That is why we’ve broken down a few possible causes and ways to avoid them. 

Tailgating

Getting too close to the car ahead of you considerably increases the chances of crashing into them. If they suddenly brake you will have no time to adequately maneuver around them or adjust your speed. Legally speaking, when you get into these accidents it would be your fault.

Avoid tailgating, it’s simple. Make it a habit to be at least 10 feet away per 10 mph between the car in front of you. For instance, If you are driving at a speed of 45 mph, you should remain 40 feet away from the car ahead of you. Another rule of thumb is the “three-second rule”, where once a car passes a certain point such as a road sign, count “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi, three-Mississippi”. If you pass the same sign before the third Mississippi, you are too close. 

Failure to Use Turn Signals

It’s not only irritating when someone fails to use their turn signal, it can be extremely detrimental. We’re not psychic, we can’t guess what someone’s next move is going to be. By signaling, you are giving the drivers around you notice of your next move; decreasing your chances of a collision. 

Disrupting the Flow of Traffic

While it may seem like driving slower than the posted speed limit is safe, it can cause several problems. For one, nobody likes being stuck in traffic. A lot of the time this is caused by a car or two not flowing with traffic. Another reason motorists may drive slow is due to their level of confidence. They are not comfortable going the speed limit or above and will stick to a speed they’re okay with.

If you are uncomfortable with keeping up with traffic, let the drivers behind you pass by getting into the right lane. This way other commuters can safely go around you. 

Speeding

We’ve just recognized driving too slow can be dangerous, but going too fast can be equally unsafe. It’s no secret that many of us drive a little above the posted speed limit. It entirely depends on the road conditions, the driver’s skill set, and the other commuters in the area. 

The most important thing a driver must do is be aware of their surroundings and adjust their speed accordingly. A winding road or inclement weather are good reasons to slow down. Don’t stand out amongst the crowd, reduce your speed if you are driving faster than the other speed limit breakers around you. 

Got Into An Accident? Let Ric’s Body & Paint Help

You can be the safest driver on the road but sometimes accidents are unavoidable. When they happen you may require an auto body repair shop to restore your car to its original condition. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we’re happy to help. Our expert technicians can perform quality collision repair and paint matching services to restore your vehicle to its former glory. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get back on the road.

6 Questions to Ask Your Collision Repair Expert

A repair expert is working on a car in a auto body shop

You depend on your vehicle to pick the kids up from school, go shopping, make it to work, and go on vacation. So when it’s damaged in an accident, you are understandably stressed. After searching for a reputable collision repair shop, then comes many questions that must be answered. That is why we’ve put together six important questions you should ask your collision repair expert to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

Can I Get a Written Estimate?

Depending on the level of damage, you may be looking at a sizable sum to fix your car. It is perfectly reasonable to expect a free, detailed written estimate from your auto body center of choice. The written estimate includes an itemized list of everything that needs to be done to the vehicle, as well as hourly rates, days to repair, and the cost of replacement parts. 

It is important to note that an estimate is based on the damage that can be seen, meaning there may be more damage than meets the eye. A good estimator will usually be able to give you a heads up if they believe there is additional damage during the estimate that wasn’t initially visible, like frame damage. Once the technician tears down the vehicle, they will be able to provide you with further information.

Can You Match My Paint?

Are you worried about your paint job not matching? If you’ve chosen a trusted collision repair expert, don’t be! 

Several collision repair centers are specialists at paint matching. Their technicians will restore the vehicle’s paint to manufactured specifications by painting a card with the proper code and take it and the car into the sunlight to see if it is a viable match. The painter will also bend into adjacent panels to ensure color matching quality. Expert painters have developed an excellent spraying technique to provide the best coverage for a seamless application of your new paint.

Will You Work with My Insurance?

It’s helpful going to an auto body repair expert who has a working relationship with your insurance company. This should speed up the claims process and make it easier for you to finish the process. By making sure your auto body shop works with your insurance, you can ensure the car’s repair goes as efficiently and smoothly as possible. 

By using a body shop your insurance recommends, they are guaranteeing the work of that establishment. If the shop is not a part of your insurance company’s network, make sure the shop warrants their work. 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we work with all insurance companies, but we are not a direct repair shop (DRP) with all insurance companies. We also carry our own warranty on services giving you peace of mind knowing we’re here to help you. 

How Long Will the Repair Take?

Since you depend on your car in your daily life, it’s a reasonable question to ask how long the collision repair may take to finish. It’s usually subjective due to several factors:

  • Make/Model of Vehicle
  • Severity of Damage
  • Scheduling availability 
  • Mechanical or technical issues 
  • Skill-level of Technicians

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we use an estimating tool to figure out how long it might take to finish servicing your vehicle. We input in the tasks for the project and we can identify repair times that are based on industry standards.  

Does the Auto Body Repair Expert Have Any Certifications?

Certifications are a good sign that the technicians handling your vehicle are knowledgeable in auto body repair. Look out for key certifications such as I-CAR and ASE. The I-CAR Gold Class certification is the highest training achievement in the collision repair industry. This means a collision repair shop trains its technicians every year. Moreover, accreditation designates experts to be highly skilled in four key collision repair roles. These roles include estimator, non-structural technician, steel structural technician, and refinish technician. 

Does the Repair Shop Offer Warranties?

When going to an auto body repair expert, it’s always essential to go to technicians who are confident in their work to offer a warranty. Ask them if they provide one,  what kind they offer, and how long it will last? Warranties can cover repairs for work involving fit, functionality, finish, and overall quality.

Reliable Auto Body Repair Experts at Ric’s

As an I-CAR Gold Class repair shop, Ric’s Body & Paint is your trusted source for collision repair. We strive to provide excellent service through estimates, warranties, and paint matching services. We will work with all insurance companies, so come in anytime for evaluation and receive a lifetime warranty on the fit and finish of your collision repair. Contact us today to let us know what we can do to get your car back in tip-top shape.

Does Size Matter in a Vehicle Collision?

glamour shot of FORD truck, size

Getting into a vehicle collision is never ideal. It can be a devastating experience financially, mentally, and physically. When people decide to purchase a car, they should take into account the size of a vehicle. The traditional line of thinking when it comes to car accidents is bigger is better. Is that true? Let’s take a look.

Momentum Impacts Vehicle Collision

As the weight of the car goes up, so will its momentum. Simply put,  when the vehicle is in the process of slowing down, it takes more time to happen. A collision  with a smaller vehicle the energy of the bigger car will transfer to the smaller one, creating more damage. The force impact can cause serious injury for passengers in the smaller car – such as whiplash.

How Vehicle Weight Factors into Auto Collisions

Size and weight play a massive role in the affects of force people feel inside the vehicle during an accident. In larger cars, the space from the front of the vehicle to the passenger compartment provides more protection in frontal crashes. With more distance, the better the frame can protect from serious injury.

Newer Cars Are Safest, Despite Size

Car manufacturers are always improving on their safety features to ensure commuters walk away from an accident without serious injury. Modern cars will come with several features, such as side, rear, and front airbags, back-up sensors and cameras, blind spot warnings, and electronic stability control. 

Does Size Matter in a Vehicle Collision?

The short answer is yes. It’s a matter of physics: bigger and heavier objects are likely to take less damage than smaller, lighter ones. Large vehicles weigh more and have longer hoods and crush zones to protect them against frontal crashes. However, this should not sway you from purchasing a smaller vehicle. With updated technology to prioritize commuter safety, drivers can feel confident in their car’s safety performance.

Visit Ric’s Body & Paint After a Vehicle Collision

It doesn’t matter if your car has experienced minor dents or a full-on collision, it needs proper auto body care. Our experienced technicians will carefully repair or replace damaged parts to bring your car back to its condition prior to your accident. Contact our shop today to let us know how we can assist with your repair needs!

How I-CAR Gold Class Repair Technicians Provide Top-Notch Service

Collision repair technician with sparks I-CAR Gold Certification

When you are in need of auto body repair, make sure the collision repair person working on your vehicle is qualified and properly trained. As a car owner, there is nothing more stressful than getting into an auto accident. Therefore, search for the right technician with first-class certifications, to fix your vehicle is essential. An I-Car certification is one way to make sure the shop you visit is trained in providing top-notch repair services.

What is I-CAR Certification?

The Inter-industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) provides in-depth training and continuing education in the auto collision industry. Firstly, the program helps keep shops and technicians up to date with the latest technology and techniques, ensuring that the customer’s vehicle repair needs are efficiently met.

I-CAR Gold Class Certification

This level of certification is a rigorous extension of the basic training that involves a deeper dive into a range of subjects, such as:

  • How to detect hidden damage
  • Which parts to repair and which to replace
  • How to make the right decisions for a safe, successful repair
  • The latest repair techniques and technologies

It is reported that only 20% of auto body repair shops are certified in I-CAR’s Gold Class. So when you find one, stick with the best!

Why Should You Choose an I-CAR Certified Shop?

See the Gold Class logo and you can rest assured that you have chosen a repair shop that has trained technicians to retain the safety and structural integrity of your vehicle. Choosing a Gold Class business can also mean a better service experience for you. Surveys show that Gold Class-rated businesses outperform other body shops by 47%. Car companies change the way they make their vehicles and incorporate new technologies into their design. Therefore, auto repair shops must adapt to these concepts to provide a high level of service for their customers. Use a shop with an I-CAR certified technician and you can expect a greater level of care for your repair needs. 

Ric’s Body & Paint Can Help

If you’ve recently been in an auto accident, it’s crucial that your car is evaluated and repaired by trained technicians. By visiting Ric’s Body & Paint, you can rest easy knowing that our I-CAR Gold Class repair shop is on the job.

Contact us today to learn how we can help!

Auto Accidents During COVID-19: What You Need to Know?

Today there seems to be a change on the roadways. People are remaining at home lessening the traffic. However, even though there are fewer vehicles on the road due to the COVID-19 crisis, commuters are still at risk of auto accidents. Getting into a collision is stressful enough on a normal day, but the coronavirus outbreak has created a more complex situation for drivers.

If you find yourself in an auto accident, follow these tips to ensure your car is tended to and you remain safe from possible health risks.

Car Accident 101

Simply, do what you would normally do in a car accident. Do not leave the scene until the situation is resolved. Exchange insurance and document the accident scene with detailed notes and photos of both cars. Most importantly, call for help if you or the other party is seriously injured.

Maintain Social Distancing Standards

Per CDC recommendations, stay 6 feet apart to reduce the chance of contamination. Although you might not realize it, everyone involved in the accident can stay a safe distance from each other. One strategy is to engage in social distancing and exchange the necessary information verbally or through text messages.

Get Appropriate Medical Attention (When Needed)

If you or the other party is injured in the auto accident, seek the appropriate medical care. Hospitals and other medical offices are prioritizing COVID-19 patients, therefore, call or email your doctor to evaluate your options beforehand. Consider non-critical care options as well, but if you’ve been seriously injured in the collision do not hesitate in getting medical attention. 

Call Ric’s Body & Paint

Ric’s Body & Paint has been repairing cars to their former glory since 1976. While we’ve never experienced anything quite like the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve taken precautions to protect our employees and you. If you’ve experienced an auto accident, contact us to learn how we can help you!

The Hidden Damages of Rear-End Collisions

technician repairing car frame rear-end collision hidden damages

For any motorist, being a part of a vehicle collision is a stressful experience. Most rear-end collisions aren’t serious; they are the most common types of accidents in the United States. While most fender benders won’t show signs of serious damage, there could be underlying problems that may not show up for a while. That is why it is crucial to identify and fix any hidden damages to ensure the car continues to run efficiently.

More Than Meets the Eye

Car Frame Damages

While the cosmetic damage to the vehicle will be obvious, the collision can impact the driver’s warning system. The biggest concern is having a weakened frame that won’t protect you from future accidents.

Electrical Damages

If you’ve been in a minor rear-end collision, there is a chance the impact may have caused damage to the wire harness of your braking system.

Car Alignment Problems

Following a rear-end collision, it’s possible for the car to show signs of misalignment. Common signs include uneven driving, a wobbly steering wheel, and unusual vibrations. In addition to not being safe, a misaligned vehicle will cause tires to wear much faster.

Trunk Damages

Being that it is a rear-end collision, it’s very common to find some trunk damage. This normally won’t affect one’s ability to drive, but it certainly reduces the value of the car. The trunk should open and close smoothly while remaining capable of locking efficiently.

If you’ve been in a rear-end collision, you may be vulnerable to these issues. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we have a veteran technician team who can identify the effects the accident had on your vehicle. For an estimate, feel free to drop by our shop or contact us to learn how we can help!