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.

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!

How COVID-19 is Impacting the Collision Repair Industry

man under a car repairing, Collision repair industry

Like most businesses, the collision repair industry has been affected by the coronavirus. With the COVID-19 crisis causing communities to stay indoors and to only leave for essential needs, the fewer drivers on the road have less potential for accidents. While this is great news for everyone who continues to commute, these stay-at-home orders have affected major production hubs and auto repair shops to adjust their operations.

A Slowdown in Vehicle Production

As of February, automotive suppliers have been warning automakers that they may run out of parts used for vehicle production in the United States, especially electronic components. China’s vehicle production has been hit the hardest due to the virus, causing a major disruption in the global supply chain. 10% of the United States’ auto parts imports come from China including key components such as electric signaling parts, airbag inflators, safety glass, mirrors, seats, locks, and much more.

How Collision Repair Shops are Adjusting

With COVID-19 causing fewer people to be on the road, there are fewer accidents that occur. This has led many auto body repair shops to rely on their other services. Collision repair shops have had to rework their business operations to provide more contact-less services such as over the phone payments and vehicle pick-up/drop-offs. It’s convenient, easy, and promotes social distancing!

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are doing everything we can to ensure our customers and employees are safe. We’ve adjusted our operations to make sure everyone at our shop is out of harm’s way. While the collision repair industry has slowed down, we will continue to provide high-level services for each of our clients. If you are in need of any auto body or collision repair, contact us to learn how we can help!

Ensuring Customer and Vehicle Safety During the COVID-19 Crisis

Providing A Safe Experience

We know the COVID-19 crisis has been a major concern for most people around the world. As such we are committed to providing our customers the same quality collision repair service we always have, but with added precautions to make sure they, as well as our employees, remain safe from the virus. That is why we wanted to share ways we ensure efficient vehicle safety, while maintaining our customers and employee’s health.

Working At Your Comfort Level

We understand that everyone deserves to feel safe and remain healthy. If a customer is at an extreme level of discomfort we will work with you individually to find a situation that works.

If you have a moderate concern we would be happy to come out to you in your vehicle. You may call us from your vehicle; we will come out and complete an estimate while they wait in their car. After the estimate is completed, we can email you the details for your record.

If you are comfortable coming in, our shop is open. We do have social distancing measures in place inside as recommended by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC). 

Keeping a Safe Distance

If you are scheduled for a collision repair, come in or call us when you arrive. One of our service managers will go over the repairs with you. To be prepared, please bring a pen of your own to sign our authorization forms. At pick up, come in to finish up paperwork or give us a call and we will meet you in front of the doors.  We are able to take payment with our mobile credit card machine. Once finalized, we will give you a receipt and go over the repairs completed on their vehicle all while keeping a safe distance.

Estimate and Repair 

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we prefer to touch base with each customer to make sure that we understand the extent of your repair and are able to answer any questions you may have. We would complete an estimate then we get you scheduled for the repairs.  We do this so we can order parts and have them here at your scheduled drop off. At drop off our technicians will go over the car once more and get our authorization form signed before starting a repair. Your vehicle will be assigned to one of our technicians who will keep you informed throughout the repair process. After we have serviced your vehicle, one of our representatives will make the appropriate arrangements with you for pick up.

Increased Frequency of Cleaning and Sanitizing

Throughout the day our employees go through the shop to clean and disinfect the most frequently used areas and tools. We recommend for all customers to remove all personal belongings from their vehicle before dropping it off. This includes phone chargers, garage door openers, backpacks, glasses, etc. We will also disinfect the vehicle as soon as it is dropped off and again once it is picked up. 

Reinforce Existing Health Protocols

We require all employees to wash their hands as much as possible to follow the CDC handwashing guidelines, which involves washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. Our shop team will continue to utilize seat covers, steering wheel covers, floor mats, and wipe down door and gear shift handles with sanitizer before the vehicle is picked up. We also make sure all employees who are ill stay home to prevent others from getting sick.

Auto repair doesn’t stop for a crisis. That is why Ric’s Body & Paint technically enabled staff will continue to serve every one’s auto body and vehicle safety needs during this time. Like everyone else, we want nothing more than for things to return to normal, but until then precautions must be put into place to protect our customers and employees from possible contagion. Let us know how we can make the appropriate arrangements to better serve you and your vehicle needs!

How to Become a Collision Repair Technician

auto body collision specialist buffing out fender

With so many cars and trucks on the road, accidents happen every day. When they do, collision repair technicians are there to assess the damage and bring the vehicle back to its original state. This type of work does not involve any engine repair, instead it focuses on the body of the vehicle. If you or somebody you know is interested in a career as a collision repair technician, there are several ways to get into the field.

What Does a Collision Repair Technician Do?

Collision repair technicians are trained to analyze, assess, and fix damaged vehicles. Their work can include repairing, replacing, and refinishing the outer body of the car but they can also be trained in fixing internal automotive structures. When they aren’t repairing collision damage, technicians may work on body customization or minor repairs, such as dents, scratches, or corrosion damage.

If you are interested in a rewarding a challenging career in auto body repair work check out these tips.

Some typical tasks include:

  • Pounding out dents
  • Straightening a vehicle’s frame
  • Using a welding torch to create high-strength bonds between metal
  • Replace damaged body panels, fenders, or doors
  • Applying the right paint color or performing touch ups using paint matching technology
What Education is Needed to Get Started?

While most auto body technicians only need a high school diploma and some training, enrolling in post-secondary programs and obtaining certifications only makes candidates more qualified to employers.  

There are several steps that can be taken in becoming a collision repair technician. By obtaining a certificate or an associate’s degree in automotive technology, as a respective tech you will improve you job opportunities in this field. Programs can be found in several institutions, such as community colleges and vocational schools.

Once you have completed a formal training program, you will need to seek on-the-job training to gain needed skills to advance their career. By gaining real world experience, you will soon be able to prepare for certification and open more job opportunities.

Stand Out Certifications

The Universal Technical Institute is a 54 week program designed to train students to become familiar with the tools, equipment, and technology used in collision repair centers across the U.S. They will also work closely with five industry-leading manufacturers including 3M, Audatex, Axalta, Chief Automotive Technologies, and Information Services Inc.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence offers in-depth training and certification exams for people seeking credentials as collision repair technicians. Only two out of three test-takers pass on their first attempt, but to be ASE certified is impressive to many reputable auto repair shops.

At Ric’s Body & Paint, we are proud to have six technicians on our team to ensure your car is road ready. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dent or a major collision repair job, we are happy to provide you with top-quality results with undeniable service. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with your auto body needs.

The Anatomy of a Car Crush Zone

gray and red car in a collision

Collisions can happen to anyone and with new innovative technology car manufacturers are working to make their vehicles as safe as possible. One way they do this is by adapting their vehicles in the front and back with a series of crush zones, or crumple zones, that will help prevent any serious damage to the occupants inside. Auto engineers must consider many factors when designing safer cars, such as vehicle size and weight, frame stiffness, and any stresses the car will be subjected to in a crash.

What’s in a Crush Zone?

Specifics on what goes into a crush zone vary depending on the vehicle’s size and weight. Automakers must create a balance between having too much and too little impact resistance. Some designs can include frame segments that bend in areas or some that collapse into themselves. More innovative solutions use a variety of metals and materials that are engineered to take as much impact as possible to prevent harm to the passenger section.

Frontal Crush Zones

The main goal of frontal crush zones is to keep the shape of the cabin in order to protect the occupant’s space. Depending on the severity of the front-end accident, the car’s hood will experience the most damage. Cars have bumper reinforcements, that is what absorbs the energy of the impact. It is meant to absorb the impact and crumple, protecting the passengers inside and key mechanical components underneath the hood.

Rear Crush Zones

A rear collision is the most common type, making it clear that automakers must efficiently make this area an efficient crumple zone. To ensure the safety of the driver and everyone on the road, auto engineers will construct the rear bumpers with aluminum, steel, rubber, and plastic depending on the make and model of the vehicle. It’s crucial for the rear bumper to have bumper reinforcements as well to absorb the impact to keep it from damaging important elements of the car, such as the frame, as well as the vehicle’s occupants.

Avoid Collisions

Collisions are preventable and 80% of them are caused by simple driver distractions. That is why it is important to remember to put down that cell phone, pay attention to your surroundings, and to drive defensively. While crush zones can keep us safe, it is not a guarantee. Even so, the damage to repair can be costly and be a major pain to deal with.

Our experienced technicians at Ric’s Body & Paint are more than qualified to inspect your vehicle after your accident to efficiently and honestly restore your car back to its original shape. Contact us or visit our shop to learn how we can help!

Getting Your Car Summer Vacation Ready

Car maintenance man putting oil into car engine

Car Maintenance Tips

Summer is fast approaching, which means many of us will be driving out of town. You might have waited a long time for this vacation, or maybe it’s a spur of the moment trip. Whatever the case, it is important to keep your car in top shape to be fully prepared for any summer road trip you take. Below, we have listed 5 car maintenance tasks that any auto body repair shop can check out before your vacation.

Check Your Oil

Oil is one of the most important fluids in your vehicle because it makes sure the engine’s parts run clean and smooth. Use the dipstick that is in the engine’s oil tube to measure how much is in the vehicle. If you are running low, you need to have it changed ASAP. If you plan on doing this yourself, be sure to check the owner’s manual to see how often you need to and what type of oil to use. If you don’t know how or are uncomfortable, any auto body repair shop will happily replace your oil.

Brakes and Tires

Probably the most important safety feature for any long road trip, and just overall everyday driving. It is important that you make sure your brakes are properly working and that your tires aren’t worn down from everyday use. Have them checked, serviced, or replaced if the pads and rotors are worn out. 

Overheating Engine

As the weather becomes hotter during the summer, your engine will have to work harder to keep itself cool. That is why it is imperative for any car owner to add more coolant into the system to prevent their vehicle from overheating. For cars that consistently overheat despite having enough coolant and a functioning thermostat, they should bring it into an auto body repair shop to inspect and service it.

Air Conditioning

Much like an overheating engine, the hotter the weather becomes the more you’ll need to be cool and comfortable while driving. In most cases, the Freon in your air conditioner will not need to be recharged too often. However, if the cabin temperature fails to maintain a consistent temperature below 10c then it is important to have it checked out by an experienced mechanic. You don’t want to take any summer road trip without a working air conditioner.

Battery Replacement

One stressful situation people find themselves in is not being able to start their car. However, on vacation, the situation becomes even direr due to possibly being in the middle of nowhere and not having anybody to help you out. That is why car owners should have their battery tested to make sure there will be enough juice to start the engine. In the case that something like this does happen, it is important to have jumper cables handy for the situation.

In order to avoid any major repairs and have some peace of mind, it’s crucial to keep up with the car’s routine maintenance. At Ric’s Body & Paint, we have experienced technicians who will inspect your car to make sure it is summer road-trip ready. Visit our website for more information on our services and to contact us to let us know how we can help you!