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.

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!