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.

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!