Preparing Students to Take Cars to College

Students_work_on_robots_at_Cañada_CollegeAs August comes to a close, it doesn’t just signify the end of summer. Tons of college students are heading back to dorms and apartments, many of whom are living on their own for the first time. In addition to living apart from their parents, these students now have to care for their vehicles as well.

According to AAA, there are several common mistakes that college students make when it comes to cars. If you or your child are leaving for college soon, be sure to consider the following “Rookie Mistakes”:

Letting a friend borrow the car- Not everyone at college has a car, so friends asking to borrow isn’t uncommon. However, car insurance sticks with the car not the driver. If a friend gets in an accident, it will affect the owner of the vehicle. In the cases of many college students, the owner is Mom or Dad.

Ignoring regular maintenance- Students might try to save money by avoiding small maintenance without realizing that doing so could contribute to a bigger, more expensive problem. Talk to your son or daughter about knowing when to change oil, rotate tires, and how to check tire tread.

Not preparing for roadside emergencies- Another aspect to consider is that college students can’t always call home when they have car trouble. Some type of roadside assistance service, like AAA, could help them with car trouble and even find a trustworthy auto shop in the area.

Discussing these mistakes with your college student might help to avoid some pesky, pricey accidents in the future. Also, you’ll be giving him or her a great lesson in vehicle responsibility.

Are You Prepared for an Auto Accident?

Head_On_CollisionAt one point or another, we’re all bound to be involved in some type of car accident. If you’re lucky and no one is injured in the accident, your biggest worry will probably be, “What do I do next?”

Typically, you don’t know if you’re prepared for a car crash until after it happens. With this post, we hope to help you feel prepared for anything out on the road. Hopefully, this knowledge will afford you some peace of mind during an undoubtedly hectic time.

Precautions

There are a number of items you can keep in your car daily that will come in handy should something happen out on the road. The first is your cell phone. Most people carry this anyway, but you should always try to charge it before taking a car ride. Should you need help, the cell phone will be invaluable.

Next, be sure to stow a pen and some paper into a compartment. This will make it easier to record information immediately following an accident. Other helpful items include a list of contacts and medical allergies in case you were injured, and traffic cones or road flares.

Post-Accident Safety

Although you’re bound to feel shocked immediately after a collision, it’s important to think clearly to keep yourself and passengers safe. If the accident was serious, try to remain in the vehicle wearing a seat belt until help arrives. If you’re involved in a minor fender bender, you as well as any other involved vehicles should attempt to pull off of the main road into a safe area before getting out of the car.

Information Exchange

You need to make sure you get the proper information from the other driver, especially if you live in an area like Philadelphia where police may not always respond to accidents. Be sure to write down the following info from the other driver:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • License Plate Number
  • Insurance Company
  • Insured Name (if different from driver)
  • Policy Number

You should also take note of the make and model of the other vehicle, as well as the location of the accident. Although emotions are bound to be flying after a collision, remember how important it is not to mention fault to the other driver or police. Do your best to be polite and discuss only the necessary information.

Don’t forget to call Direct Paint & Collision if you need a tow, auto body repair, or a loaner vehicle.

Accidents Happen: 2013 PA Crash Statistics [Infographic]

What are drivers in Pennsylvania hitting the most? Take a look at the stats from last year’s crashes.

PA Crashes with Roadside Objects

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After reviewing some data from PennDOT’s 2013 Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics Book, it’s clear that Pennsylvania drivers face many roadblocks.

We used 2013′s data to create this infographic, depicting what drivers hit most.

Other PennDOT stats:

On Average in Pennsylvania:

  • Each day 340 reportable traffic crashes occurred (about 14 crashes every hour).
  • Each day 3 persons were killed in reportable traffic crashes (one death every 7 hours).
  • Each day 228 persons were injured in reportable crashes (about 9 injuries every hour).

Based on Pennsylvania’s 2013 population (12,773,801 people):

  • 1 out of every 45 people was involved in a reportable traffic crash.
  • 1 out of every 10,574 people was killed in a reportable traffic crash.
  • 1 out of every 154 people was injured in a reportable traffic crash.

At Direct Paint, we urge all PA drivers to use caution on the road. We also recommend keeping an accident checklist in your car in case of emergency. Sign Up for Our Newsletter & Download the Direct Paint & Collision Accident Checklist.

 

PA Drivers: Expect Delays on the Blue Route

I-476_signs_on_Ridge_PikeAccording to PennDOT, construction teams will be resurfacing different deteriorated areas of I-476 over the next two months.

This project began in our area on Sunday, August 10th. Parts of the Blue Route in Haverford and Radnor townships, Lower Merion township, Delaware County, and Montgomery County are among the designated construction spots.

This week specifically, crews will be resurfacing I-476 between I-76 and Lancaster Avenue (Route 30) as well as between West Chester Pike and Montgomery Avenue. The majority of work will be happening on weeknights between 9 pm and 5 am, so motorists can expect lane closures and delays during that time.

The Haverford Patch also relayed the other construction areas you can beware of until late September:

  • Northbound travel lanes between the Route 3 (West Chester Pike) and U.S. Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue) interchanges in Delaware County;
  • Northbound right lane from the Delaware County line to the Montgomery Avenue overpass, just south of the Interstate 76 Interchange in Montgomery County;
  • Northbound middle lane at the Montgomery Avenue overpass in Montgomery County;
  • Southbound right lane from the County Line Road overpass to the Route 30 (Lancaster Avenue) Interchange in Delaware County;
  • Southbound middle and right lanes from just south of the Marple Road overpass to the Route 3 (West Chester Pike) Interchange in Delaware County;
  • Southbound middle lane at Marple Road in Delaware County; and
  • Southbound acceleration lane and right lane from the Interstate 76 East on-ramp to the Delaware County line.

If you would like to check the status of I-476 or any other major highways before hitting the road, you can do so for free at 511PA.com.

Maintenance for your Next Vacation

people-23789_640Now that it’s summer, there is one thing on all of our minds: vacation. While vacations are something we look forward to all year, they can also be pretty rough on our cars. That’s why we’ve compiled some simple maintenance tips you use before you leave. The following will help to keep you on track during your travels:

  • Search your battery for corrosion and consider replacing if more than 3 years old.
  • Check your oil and change if needed. Your owner’s manual can tell you often you need to change the oil.
  • Look for even wearing, correct air pressure, and plenty of tread depth on your tires.
  • Assess the conditions of your wiper blades and wiper fluid. Typically, wiper blades have a lifespan of about one year.
  • Be sure you have your spare tire in the vehicle, and that it is properly inflated. Also, you’ll need the proper tools should you have to use it.

We hope these tips help you to better enjoy your vacation. Imagine how much fun having car trouble with a car full of kids on the way to the shore would be…or not.

If you do encounter trouble on the road, we offer towing and auto body work.

New Study Says Young Drivers Still Don’t Wear Seat Belts

car-44127_640A study produced by the Governors Highway Association in Washington D.C. shows that there has been a nationwide increase in teenaged drivers fatally injured while not wearing a seat belt. In Pennsylvania, 106 teenagers were killed in car accidents in 2012. Of that 106, 92 were not wearing seat belts.

Nationwide that same year, more than 51 percent of teen drivers killed in fatal accidents were not wearing seat belts. Since 2010, this number has been on the rise. More than 60 percent of passengers killed weren’t wearing seat belts. However, the percentage of adults 20 and over killed while not wearing seat belts was less than half.

In the United States, car crashes are still the number one cause of death for teenagers. Although the number of fatal car crashes has dropped dramatically in the past decade, the number of teens riding without seat belts involved in those crashes has risen. This fact alone says something serious about how important seat belts are to our safety — and the safety of our children.

However, this group did credit Pennsylvania as one of the 12 states with increased efforts to encourage teen drivers to buckle up. Some of these efforts include education initiatives and ticketing individuals who ride in a car unbuckled. Most notably, the group mentioned the three-week campaign called, “Teen Seat Belt Mobilization.” During this campaign, there is serious educational outreach followed by heightened legal enforcement. This campaign was repeated in 2013 and 2014.

For more information about this study, check out the article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Turnpike Commission Warns About E-ZPass Phishing Scam

Courtesy of PA Turnpike Commission

Courtesy of PA Turnpike Commission

Many all over the country have been reporting an email going around alleging that they owe money for tolls. However, E-ZPass and the PA Turnpike Commission are teaming together to spread the word that this email is a fake, and likely part of a phishing scam.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, a phishing scam typically includes an email where scammers pose as a company and ask for personal information like social security or credit card numbers. This email string in particular was identified as a scam because many of the recipients were people who don’t own E-ZPasses.

The email includes a link to a supposed invoice. However, E-ZPass does not send invoices through email. Authorities recommend not clicking the link, and not opening the email at all if you’re able to identify it beforehand. Instead, just delete it. You can see a screenshot of the email to the right of this post.

While you should not take this email as an indication that you owe any money, you can reach a representative at 877-736-6727 if you have any concerns about your E-ZPass account.

Share this information with friends and family to ensure no one else falls victim to this scam.

What Causes Rust

rust-218097_640Chances are, you’ll see rust on your car at least once in your life. If left unattended, this rust will spread and cause your vehicle serious damage. Of course, you’ll want to find an auto body shop that performs rust repair in Delaware County once it’s seen. However, you’ll probably also wonder what caused the rust in the first place and how you can prevent it.

Common Causes of Rust

Weather

Most of us are aware that rust forms after metal is exposed to the rain or sun. This means that the bumpers, engine, trunk, and frame are particularly susceptible to rust. However, you should also be aware that any areas on the body where the paint is chipped or scratched are likely to rust as well. In these cases, the rust could cause structural damage — a repair best left to the professionals. You can trust us with your auto body rust repair in Havertown.

Salt

If you live in a coastal region, salt is definitely a major factor when it comes to potential car rusting. That sea air is bound to leave the particles all over the surface of your car, and they will slowly eat away at your paint job. But, don’t think you’re safe just because you live a distance from the nearest body of water. Road salt can be just as detrimental when it comes to rusting.

Neglect

No surprise; if you don’t take care of your car, it will rust. You should remember to clean it regularly, especially if there may be salt stuck to the exterior. Rain water will not be enough to protect it from rusting. Additionally, do your best to keep your automobile out of extreme weather by parking in a garage.

Auto Body Rust Repair Delaware County

Don’t let rust compromise the structure of your car. Although it may seem like no big deal, rust can spread and actually make driving dangerous. At the first sign of rusting, make an appointment at an auto body rust repair shop — like Direct Paint and Collision in Havertown, PA.

It’s a Bad Commuting Summer for the Tri-State Area

Philadelphia_skyline_sunsetSummer 2014 is shaping up to be a difficult one for commuters all over the Tri-State area. Between construction on I-95 in Pennsylvania, the temporary closing of the I-495 bridge in Delaware, and work on the Ben Franklin Bridge, commuters just can’t catch a break.

What’s worse, all of this congestion will force more people onto public transportation. It’s safe to say you can expect packed and delayed trains for some time, especially for those coming from Jersey.

The Delaware Port Authority and PATCO are replacing train tracks on the PATCO Speedline for the first time since the 1980′s while simultaneously working on electric lines that in some cases were installed in the 1930′s. This is all part of the $103 million overhaul that began back in February.

The southbound tracks as well as a few lanes on the Ben Franklin Bridge are now closed, as you may have noticed during your own commute. When this is finished, the same work will be done to the northbound side. All in all, this construction is expected to last for four months.

For the time being, officials are recommending that Jersey commuters telecommute as much as possible or try some of the alternate routes like the Betsy Ross Bridge. That is, if you haven’t already found a route you’re comfortable with. While all bosses should be advised that delays are expected, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Direct Paint and Collision wishes you the best on your daily commute!

Were you a Victim of Hail Damage?

downloadIt will probably be a while before any of us forget the images of golf-ball-sized hail that plagued parts of Pennsylvania just last month. These chunks of ice suddenly came crashing down, leaving a decent amount of destruction in their wake.

In Allentown and surrounding areas, there was enough hail to require plowing. Reading hail totaled over 2″ in some places. Such extensive hailing was shocking — especially for a May thunderstorm!

The exact numbers for car damage won’t be known for some time because many people wait before making a claim to insurance. However, auto body shops are now packed with vehicles awaiting windshield and dent repair. While the volume of calls isn’t nearly as bad as the hail storm a few years back, business is definitely booming more than usual.

If your vehicle was damaged by hail, you’re probably more concerned with cost. The good news is most major insurance companies consider hail damage “an act of nature,” meaning it’s covered under many comprehensive plans. Additionally, we here at Direct Paint perform paintless dent repair whenever possible so that your vehicle can retain its factory finish. Many auto body shops prefer to replace damaged panels and repaint, which reduces the value of your vehicle.

For more information about hail damage and repairs, visit our page.