As we’re sure you’ve noticed, local roads are looking more and more like an obstacle course lately thanks to the myriads of potholes. In some areas, the morning commute follows a zig-zagging pattern within each respective lane. Not only are the potholes inconvenient, but they’re also dangerous. Try your best to avoid them. Click here to see or add to a map of some of the worst potholes in Havertown.
If you can’t completely avoid a pothole, drive through as slowly as possible. In a press release earlier this week, AAA confirmed that assistance crews responded to more tire problems in the Philadelphia 5-county area in February than in any month before. Tire-related calls topped 10,300 in just 28 days. Even one of the AAA battery trucks was damaged by a pothole while en route to help another stranded victim.
Even if you’re capable of changing your own tire, you should be aware that potholes can cause much more extensive damage. Other common damages include:
- Suspension damage
- Steering misalignment
- Bent or dented rims
- Exhaust system issues
- Engine damage
If you suspect your vehicle has sustained serious damage, bring it into a mechanic right away. Here at Direct Paint, we’re able to handle collision repair.
About a week ago, every Pennsylvania driver’s nightmare came true when a pileup on the turnpike involved 100 vehicles. Drivers involved in the crashes or stuck just behind the five-mile jam were stranded on the road for hours waiting for emergency personnel to clear the road.
If you didn’t hear about the accidents, here is a summary. The morning after a big storm had dropped about a foot of snow in the area, commuters between the Bensalem and Willow Grove exits of the highway reported very slick driving conditions during rush hour. According to ABC News, one witness reported that the roads appeared wet but were actually covered in ice. This led to two major pileups and a few minor accidents, involving 100 cars altogether. Thirty people were removed from the road in ambulances. Luckily, none of the injuries reported seemed major. The majority of the accidents happened around 8:30 am, but officials weren’t able to reopen the turnpike until around 4 pm.
During this time, drivers with stranded. Many did not have food or water and most were concerned about dwindling cell phone batteries. In essence, the scene was something those involved surely will never forget. Still, it has other PA drivers concerned about future scenarios. Given that it’s only February, it’s a safe bet that our area will see more snow this season. That’s why NBC came up with some driving safety tips, and we decided to incorporate some of our own in this list as well:
- Reduce speed and drive cautiously in bad weather. It’s better to be a little late to work than risk getting into an accident.
- Increase the following distance between cars; drivers need more time to brake when the roads are slippery.
- Clear snow off of your car to improve visual conditions for yourself and other drivers.
- Call police if you see something dangerous such as a tree limb out on the road.
- Keep a bottle of water and a nonperishable snack in your glove compartment and blankets in your trunk or back seat.
- If you are stuck on the road, stay in your car but turn off the engine to conserve fuel. Also, use your cell phone sparingly.
After Winter Storm Pax just made its way through the area, we are all left to deal with the aftermath. In many cases this means lots of snow and ice, but for others it means down power lines and fallen trees. But what do you do if one of these items causes damage to your vehicle? Here are some tips to navigate you through a confusing and stressful process:
According to AAA, you should file a claim using your policy’s comprehensive coverage should a tree limb fall on your car. However, you should contact your insurance company and take pictures of the damage before you attempt to get it repaired. Additionally, vehicle damage caused by severe weather such as flooding or heavy winds is typically covered under an optional part of your auto policy.
If you are driving on ice and cause damage to someone else’s property, your property damage liability coverage should cover these costs. This is also true for public property such as traffic lights or buildings. If your vehicle is damaged from flipping over, riding over potholes, or colliding with another car, your collision coverage should then pay for the damages.
Of course, you should bring your car to a professional if it has sustained any flood damage. It may not be safe to drive.
As always you should contact us for collision repair, auto detailing, or paint jobs needed after bad weather. We also offer 24 hour towing services from our Havertown location. Contact us if this winter weather has caused damage to your vehicle.
With one storm right after another lately, you’re probably used to a thick coating of road salt covering your shoes, floors, and especially your vehicle. It seems just about impossible to keep our cars clean these days. Occasionally, you may feel relief when it rains because your car will finally be salt-free. However, the possibility of paint damage can actually be the same or even greater after the rain. Confused? We’ll explain.
As you probably already know, salt residue left on your car can cause rusting and ruin the paint finish. To avoid this damage, your best bet is to wash your salty ride as soon as possible and NOT wait for the rain to wash it away.
Without soap, much of the salt residue is left behind after rainfall. Also, rain in the winter typically means warmer temperatures which will only expedite salt’s damage. However, you might think about washing your car yourself instead of taking it to a car wash. Why? Well, after a while the rocks of salts may stick to the brushes used in the car wash which would then be rubbed back onto your car. You might even think about having it waxed after washing, to be preventative before the next storm. For more preventative measures, read this DMV article.
Don’t forget about your car’s interior, though. Be sure to vacuum or shampoo the salt out of your car. This will certainly help keep up the resale value. If you need help with this, bring your vehicle into Direct Paint & Collision. Click here for a list of our detailing services.
We all experience it every once in a while. We’re innocently driving along when a little icon lights up on the dashboard. At first you feel panicked, but then you start to wonder if this is really an issue that requires your immediate attention. And which lights mean it’s unsafe to continue driving? In this post, we at Direct Paint and Collision hope to inform you about your dashboard lights and give some guidance so you can get these issues safely taken care of.
Check Engine Light
This light illuminates when an issue is affecting your car’s exhaust emissions. While there is no need to drive immediately to the nearest auto repair shop, you should definitely make an appointment in the near future. However, if the light begins to flash you should seek immediate service from an auto repair professional.
Oil Pressure Light
This light may be a symbol or simply the word oil. If it turns on, that means there is an issue with the oil pressure in your vehicle and that there is a possibility of serious mechanical damage. Once this light comes on, you should pull over at the earliest possibility and call for roadside assistance.
Charging System Light
Typically, this light looks like a battery. If it comes on, you should turn off any unnecessary electrical components like a GPS system or the radio and head to a mechanic. If your battery is no longer being supplied power, you may have trouble starting the car once it is turned off. In that case, you would need a jumpstart and possible work on your battery.
We hope these descriptions help minimize your panic and keep you safe when on the road. If you end up in an accident in the Havertown area, be sure to call us for towing and collision repair.
Some pets just can’t wait to go for rides in the car, especially so they can stick their heads out the window and feel the wind against their furry faces. Taking animals along for car rides is convenient and sometimes unavoidable. However, it can also be dangerous for the both of you — unless the proper safety precautions are taken.
In a survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products, 65 percent of respondents admitted to at least one type of distracted driving while riding with a pet passenger. AAA described these distracted driving behaviors as:
- Petting your dog while driving
- Allowing your dog to sit in your lap
- Feeding your dog
- Playing with your dog
Now, if talking or texting on a cell phone can distract a driver enough to cause an accident, we’re willing to bet that playing with an animal can be just as dangerous. When your dog is unrestrained during the car ride, the danger becomes even greater. Your pet passenger has the ability to jump around in the car, possibly bumping the driver. Also, an unrestrained pet is at high risk of injury in the event of a crash. Air bags can be deadly to animals, especially those moving around during a car crash. In order to keep your dog safe during road trips, you should show him or her the same courtesy you do yourself. After all, you wear a seatbelt.
There are a number of pet restraint systems available. Smaller dogs can be kept in a carrier held in place by a seatbelt, similar to the way a child’s carseat works. Certain companies also make harnesses that latch onto seat belts and will keep your dog in place without confining them too much. And remember, pets should always ride in the backseat.
In light of the snowstorms that recently plagued the Havertown area, PennDOT decided to promote a Winter Driving Awareness week to ensure that all local drivers are prepared for any more inclement weather to come this way. Although we’ve discussed winter driving in previous posts, we thought it was a great idea to share some information that we haven’t covered. The better informed, the safer the roads.
Between January 12 and 18, Pennsylvania drivers are encouraged to have their vehicles serviced by a trustworthy mechanic. This week will serve as a break from the snow and ice — the perfect time to prep for what’s ahead. The mechanic should check all belts, hoses, tires, wiper blades, as well as your heating and cooling system. This is also a good time to fix any problems you’ve been aware of. For more information about making a repair appointment with Direct Paint & Collision, click here.
Another smart idea for this intermission is to ready an emergency kit to keep in your car. In addition to normal things like road flares and an ice scraper, your winter emergency kit should encompass the following items:
- Set of warmer clothes
- Non-perishable food
- Cell phone charger
- Small snow shovel
Lastly, PennDOT has supplied motorists with tips for sharing the road with snow plow vehicles. According to PennDOT, you should stay at least six car lengths behind an operating snow plow and remember that they move at a much slower pace. Also, the plow attached to the front is much wider than the truck, so be cautious when driving alongside a plow or when one is driving toward you. Finally, never try to pass or drive between snow plow trucks driving side by side. The weight of the snow being thrown to the side is far too heavy for the average car.
For more winter driving tips, read Winter Driving 101.
As this year comes to a close, you may be thinking about possible resolutions to improve your lifestyle. While promising to eat healthier is noble, you should also consider kicking some dangerous driving habits. Consider these safer driving resolutions:
Put the phone away. According to Distraction.gov, 21 percent of distracted drivers ages 15-19 involved in fatal car accidents were distracted by cell phone use. Keep your phone in a purse or glove compartment so you’re not tempted to text or make calls while driving.
Don’t drive tired. You may not think it a big deal to get behind the wheel while feeling drowsy, but fatigued drivers are not alert enough to drive safely. Your reactions will be slower and your decisions less thought out. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, take an occasional nap throughout the day. If driving for a long time, make a stop so you can get out and stretch your legs.
Leave on time. Most people speed when they are running late, a major cause of automobile accidents. This year, give yourself plenty of time to make your trips and find parking. Don’t let your lateness be an excuse for possibly injuring yourself or another.
Don’t let your safe driving knowledge slip in 2014. Make a resolution, stick to it, and make the roads a safer place.
As anyone who has been out on the roads lately knows, snow and ice can make driving frightening, dangerous, and difficult. Sometimes we are not inspired to learn correct winter driving techniques until it is too late. Take the following advice and keep yourself and loved ones safe this year.
- Follow further behind vehicles in front of you: In snow, braking can take longer or cause your car to slide. You will want to give yourself more stopping time to avoid collision. Rather than the 3-5 second rule applied to normal driving conditions, try giving yourself 8-10 seconds.
- Keep your gas tank at least half-full: Smaller amounts of liquid could freeze in your gas line.
- Never warm your car in your garage: Enclosed spaces will fill up with poisonous gases. You should also check that your exhaust is not covered with snow or ice to avoid carbon monoxide from being pushed inside your car.
- Reduce your stops: Stopping then starting can become dangerous in ice or snow. Try your best to roll slowly instead of stopping.
To find more driving safety tips, visit the AAA blog…
When preoccupied with holiday cheer, sometimes we forget about the not-so-cheerful things, like driving safety. Winter weather can sometimes make for some treacherous driving conditions, but even more so when transporting your newly purchased Christmas tree home from the lot. Remember the following tips to ensure your holiday season remains cheery and bright.
1. For optimum safety, use ratchet strips instead of bungee cords to secure your tree in the trunk or on the roof. Commonly used by bicyclists, these straps remain sturdier on impact than bungee cords.
2. Be sure that the trunk of the tree is facing forward and the top of the tree is closer to, or inside, the trunk. This will keep most of the weight centered for any turns or stops. Still, you should drive slow and maintain a safe distance between yourself and other cars.
3. Place a blanket or towel beneath your tree. This will prevent pine needles from scratching away paint on your roof or falling all over your backseat/trunk.
Keep these tips in mind and remember to have fun when choosing your tree. If you’re unsure of where to find the perfect one, check out a spot at the corner of Lancaster and Ardmore Avenues in Ardmore or Linvilla Orchards in Middletown Township.