Helpful Tips

Thank you for your interest in attending the Vehicle Scan Seminar hosted by Auto Body Xperts! MAS (Mobile Auto Solutions) will be the speaker for the night, if you want to learn more about MAS, please visit www.masllc.net .

 

We will be discussing:
  • “No Scan Codes” does not mean that a calibration is not required
  • What damage can I see?
  • What damage can I not see?
  • What has to be removed during repairs?
  • What does the manufacturer say needs to happen?
  • When in the repair process should the calibration occur?
  • Can the calibration occur in house or off site?

 

FREE for insurance agents

 

Sign Up Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfJh-ID78IWoalNLPI4dNFe-YA010uNFWcqbjdbVBms_fVaQA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Or mail in this form: (PDF Version: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dXoICR2TT_6azoWsnU6e-SDo4J-JL6VX)

Vehicle Scans Seminar Sign Up Form-page-001

This seminar is free to all insurance partners and $25 per person for everyone else. You can mail a check to Auto Body Xperts (3483 Highland Dr, Attn: Marketing, Hudsonville, MI 49426), pay online at paypal.me/AutoBodyXperts, or pay at the event.

If you would like more information or have any questions, please contact Elizabeth at (616) 669-6692 or marketingcoordinator@autobodyxperts.com

Click here to watch a video that explains why Pre and Post Scans Matter!

Do I Need To Replace My Car Seat After An Accident?

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Why You Should Replace Your Car Seat After A Crash For Increased Car Seat Safety

Should you replace your car seat after a crash? It depends on the severity of the crash you were involved in based on NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) five criteria (listed below) and what your specific car seat manufacturer says about that specific child restraint.

Many car seats need to be replaced if they were in a vehicle that is involved in a crash, even if the child was NOT in the car seat during the crash. The seat will undergo some damage even if the seat were empty and even more so if the car seat was occupied.

In a substantial crash, the crash forces may be enough to bend the steel in your car’s frame, therefore, obviously enough to damage the plastic in your child’s car seat (even if you cannot see the damage).

Does Your Car Seat Or Car Seat Booster Need To Be Replaced?

In the past the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended to replace a child restraint whenever it was in a crash no matter the severity of the crash.

However, NHTSA has revised that recommendation in an attempt to reduce the number of children without a child restraint while their crashed restraint is being replaced and reduce costs for consumers and insurance companies.

NHTSA Cites Child Car Seat Safety Studies

NHTSA cites several international studies which showed that after minor vehicle crash tests, even when there is visible stress to the child restraint, the restraint still performed well in subsequent crash tests.

NHTSA’s policy on replacing child restraints after minor vehicle crashes to the following:
  • NHTSA recommends that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers.
  • NHTSA recommends that child safety seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.
Minor Crashes Are Those That Meet ALL Of The Following Criteria:
  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site
  • The vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged
  • There were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants
  • The air bags (if present) did not deploy
  • There is no visible damage to the safety seat
Will Your Insurance Company Replace Your Booster Seat Or Car Seat After A Crash?

Most insurance companies will replace your car seat in a crash without question. Most likely, you will have to buy a new seat and the show the receipt to the insurance company, then they will reimburse you.

What To Do With The Crashed Seat If It Needs To Be Replaced?

You may have a couple of options depending on where you live. Some cities have recycling programs for car seats. If you cannot find a place to recycle your car seat you’ll need to dispose of it. To dispose of it properly, you want to essentially make it unusable by anyone else by cutting the straps and removing any detachable parts.

Fall is here! Time for hayrides, apple picking, sweatshirts, football games, pumpkin spice everything, and… deer. To be safe this fall, here are some Xperts tips!

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  1. Buckle Up: Make sure to wear your seat belt.
  2. Remember there is always more than one: Typically, if you see one deer, there are more to follow so proceed with caution.
  3. Take caution on two-lane roads: Deer are most prevalent on the side of a two-lane road.
  4. Heed deer crossing signs: When you see a deer crossing sign, remember it is placed at that location for a reason and it means deer are prevalent in that particular area.
  5. Avoid swerving: Statistics show that when most drivers swerve to avoid hitting deer, they hit another object instead, such as a tree or another vehicle.
  6. Hitting a deer: Unfortunately and in some cases, hitting a deer can be unavoidable. Ideally, what you want to do is prevent the deer from landing on the hood of the vehicle and slamming into your windshield. Should the animal make contact with the windshield, there is a good chance it will smash right through causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle resulting in serious injury and in some cases, death to the driver and passengers. When hitting a deer seems unavoidable, try to think fast and be aware of the situation. Experts advise braking until the very last second of impact, then releasing the brakes. This should propel the deer away from your vehicle instead of on to the hood or windshield.

Helpful tips:

  • Turn the vehicle’s hazard lights on when you see deer so other motorists are aware that there are deer ahead.
  • If you notice any deer, especially if they are close to the road, slow down as much as possible and proceed with expert caution.
  • Sounding your horn can startle the animal and cause it to dart into the road or straight into traffic.
  • All vehicle-deer collisions must be reported to the police as soon as possible.
  • In the event that the deer is alive but injured, avoid all contact and move away, keeping a good distance from the animal and wait until police arrive.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for the silhouettes on the shoulders of the roads. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
  • Use high beam headlights if there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams will allow the driver to better see the eyes of the deer.
  • Blink your high beams at the deer. Deer seem to be in a trance when they see your headlights. By blinking your headlights at them, it alerts them to the danger heading towards them.
  • If you know you are going to collide with a deer, do not brace yourself. By doing this, it will increase your chances of breaking bones and being seriously injured. If you are going to collide, relax your body while still maintaining control of the vehicle.
  • Most deer sightings and accidents happening in the morning and at dusk. Be extra alert at that time.

 

Most importantly, stay alert, always wear your seat belt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for the conditions.

If unfortunately you are in an accident, come to Auto Body Xperts… Relax, we are the Xperts!

 

For more facts and helpful tips, see the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The Dangers of Summer Driving

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Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer. From now until after Labor Day, millions of Americans will hop in their cars and hit the road. They’ll be traveling to visit family, to attend holiday parties, to enjoy a day at the beach, or to go camping or hiking or boating. Thousands of these vacationers, however, will also end up in a vehicular accident this summer.

July and August are two of the deadliest months, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with more car crashes and vehicular-related deaths and injuries than any other months. But why is summer driving so dangerous?

There’s no easy answer to this question. For one, summertime roads are more congested. All those vacationers have to get to their destinations and most of them will drive. The nice weather also means more bicyclists and pedestrians will be sharing the roads with cars. More people on the roads equates to more chances for something to go wrong.

July and August are the deadliest months for young teenage drivers. More teenagers are behind the wheel during their summer breaks. Teenagers are, for the most part, far less experienced drivers than adult drivers. The youngest of them are also part of Generation Z — whose attachment to their smartphones. Adults are also just as guilty of checking Facebook messages in a moving vehicle, so that means there are a lot more distracted drivers on the road during the summer months… During the same months that there are more bicycles and pedestrians on the road. We all know that doesn’t end well.

In fact, the numbers of car crashes has been constantly increasing (2017 was the worst year for car crashes since the 1970s). The fact that the use of smartphones has also increased during the past decade is most likely connected to that. The slow rise car accidents is likely to be directly related to an increase in distracted driving. The Centers for Disease Control

(CDC) estimates that 8 people will be killed every day due to distracted driving; over 1000 more will be injured.

So is there anything we can do to lower the risk for ourselves? Yes and no. We can’t always protect ourselves from other drivers, but what we can do is try to make the roads a little safer by being more mindful drivers ourselves. Here are some tips from the Department of Transportation:

  • Do not text while driving. Many believe that with no snow or rain, they can drive safely while replying to a text.
  • Make sure to wear safety belts (a high number of car crash fatalities are still related to a lack of seat belt use).
  • Be more careful if you’re driving on weekends or in the early evening on most days. Data from NHSTA suggests that Saturdays are the deadliest day of the week and the hour between 6pm – 7pm has more crashes than any other time of day.
  • If it’s raining, slow down and watch out for hydroplaning. We’re all hyper vigilant in the winter months about snow and ice, but wet roads can be equally dangerous. Just because it’s warm out, doesn’t mean that the roads are always “safe.”
  • Get your car checked out before a big trip and check your tire pressure. Blowouts are more likely in hotter weather.
  • During the summer months, students are on summer vacation so there will be more young drivers on the road. Always remember, you may be a safe driver but that doesn’t mean other drivers are. Be sure to be alert for other drivers.

Have a happy and safe summer!

Keeping Your Dog Safe In The Car!

 

We understand, pets are part of the family! So here are our 5 Xpert Tips for keeping your dog safe in the car!

German Shepherd Dog Sticking Head Out Driving Car Window

  1. Make Sure Everyone (Human and K-9) is Buckled

The safest way to transport your dog is to secure them with their very own seat belts. Not only does a seatbelt confine your furry family member, but it keeps them safe in the event of an accident—which could severely injure or kill an unrestrained dog.

There are lots of options when it comes to restraining a dog in a vehicle, below is a link to many safe options for your pet.

https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/top-ten-ways-to-restrain-and-travel-safely-with-pets

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  1. Keep a Crate in the Car

If your dog is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of a car ride, having them ride in a crate is a great option. When crated in the car, your dog can snuggle up safely and ride in comfort. If your dog barks at other dogs, you can cover the crate up with a blanket to keep them calm and quiet. Your dog will be happy in their familiar place and will adjust to new surroundings faster. But if you do keep them in a crate with a blanket over top, be sure to check in and make sure they are staying cool, especially on a warm day.

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  1. Keep Your Dog off Your Lap

Dogs love riding shotgun. But if you’ve got an excited or anxious pup who wants to climb over onto you, a barrier will help. Depending on the type of car you have, your dog can be secured in the back of your car by a special fence, for example. There are several types of barriers that can be installed into the backs of SUVS, hatchbacks, and vans. See the link above for barrier and restraint options!

Although it is not illegal in most states (it is illegal in NJ and HI), it is very dangerous for your pet to ride in your lap. Having a dog in your lap can increase your response time, can be a distraction, and the dog can get very hurt (even killed) if they are on your lap during an accident. So to be safe, it is best if your pet does not drive on your lap while driving.

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  1. Take Breaks

On a long road trip, your dog needs car snacks, water, and bathroom breaks. To avoid dehydration, be sure to keep water available at all times. Meals, treats, and toys are great distractions for a busy dog in the car. Also, make sure that you’re stopping every couple of hours so your pet can use the bathroom and stretch their legs. Taking this time to run them around at a rest stop is a great way to burn some energy so they will nap for part of the trip.

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  1. Check the Temperature in the Car

If you have to leave your dog in the car, be sure to check the temperature outside before you leave your furry family member inside the car. What feels like a mild day outside won’t feel so mild inside the car. Surprisingly, the temperature inside the car on a 75 degree day can easily reach 100 degrees! Pets can die inside hot cars, even if the windows are cracked. So try to plan your trip so you do not need to leave your dog in the car.

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