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Tag: auto accident

The aftermath of a collision, with a silver car facing an upside down red car on a freeway.

Statistically speaking, everyone gets in more than one accident in their lifetime. As a teen, your chance of having an accident is greater than everyone else. Ages 15-19 are also three times as likely to be in a crash than drivers 20 and older. Crash-prevention tips can literally save your life.

Here are a few simple things you can do to keep yourself safe on the road.

  1. Turn on your headlights

Cars drive closely toward the camera at night, the street illuminated with their headlights
Night and day, headlights can alert drivers to your location.

Even when you can see fine, other traffic may not be able to see you in some situations. Leaving your headlights on during the day makes it easy for others to see you and possibly prevent an accident knowing where you are. This is an easy safety tip to follow, especially if you have automatic lights that you don’t have to worry about turning on and off.

  1. Use your horn

It may be a little intimidating at first. Honking often sounds angry, and if that’s not what you’re going for, you may be reluctant to do so.

However, your horn is another useful tool to let cars know where you are. If a car starts to drift into your lane, a few quick honks will alert them to where you are.

To be safe, don’t lay on the horn for more than two seconds. Angry honking can lead to road rage, and sometimes confrontations from other drivers.

  1. Keep your cool

On that same note, keeping your own head will help you make better driving decisions. People drive more aggressively when they are angry, and usually that leads to impulsive and unsafe maneuvers.

Let the other driver lose their head. If you make angry gestures or lay on your horn, it will only escalate an unsafe driving situation.

  1. Always have your phone with you

A smartphone with a map on it is mounted to the driver's side dashboard
While phones can be distracting if used while driving, having your phone with you while driving could save your life.

Though you shouldn’t be looking at your phone on the road, your phone is also a life-saving device. Map applications can help you get to safety if you are in an unfamiliar area. In an emergency, you can call 9-1-1 or someone you trust to help you as soon as possible. Weather alerts can let you know if you’re in danger of flood zones, a tornado, or other natural threats.

Be sure to use Bluetooth and hands-free applications while driving. But keeping connected can keep you out of a dangerous situation.

  1. Slow down

You’ve heard it a million times. But this isn’t just because driving fast is dangerous. It’s also because it’s hard to stop or maneuver around a dangerous situation on the road. Think about in-town driving. The speed limit is 45 but the guy in front of you is only going 40. Even though the speed limit is 45, slow down to allow space between your vehicles until you can safely pass them. If you don’t, that person could brake suddenly, leaving little to no reaction time for you to hit your brakes as well.

  1. Start slow

When you start to move at an intersection, don’t punch the gas. Instead, watch the cars around the intersection to make sure no one else is coming your way illegally. Starting slowly also allows you more time to spot pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

  1. Watch the sides of the road

Similarly, looking out for people, animals, or debris in the road can help you prevent an accident. Seeing these obstacles ahead of time gives you more reaction time to slow down.

  1. Never assume what a driver will do

People often leave their blinkers on unintentionally, signaling a lane change that will never happen. Many also change their minds at the last second. The best thing to do is to wait and let that person make a move before pulling onto the road or trying to pass them.

  1. Stay in the middle lane

A motion shot of a driving lane inbetween a semi truck on the left and a black car in the right lane
The middle lane is often the safest choice when traveling on a freeway.

If you’re on a freeway, the middle lane is typically the safest. The fast lane can be dangerous because people use it to pass others. The right lane is often dangerous because of people merging and exiting the roadway. If you don’t need to pass or exit the freeway, just stay put in the middle.

  1. Regular care and maintenance

A young man with short hair and glasses works under a car.
You don’t have to be a mechanic to keep up with regular maintenance.

While you might not think about this if you’re parents help you take care of your car, it’s important to know how to maintain it for the future. Keeping your tires inflated correctly, doing regular oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid checks can all prevent disaster later on down the road (pun intended). Take the time to care for your vehicle – you’ll wish you had if you find yourself stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire.

A deer stands in the middle of a snow-covered mountain forest road.
Deer are a dangerous threat to cars, especially at night.

Whether you’re driving on I-10 west toward San Antonio or up I-35 to Austin, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. These rolling hills boast their beauty all year long with magical views of spectacular sunsets. What might be the only drawback of driving through the area you might ask? Being in a deer collision.

 

According to an annual report done by State Farm, the likelihood of hitting a deer in Texas is 1 in 157. Texas was ranked the 37th riskiest state where drivers are most likely to collide with a deer or animal. November is a notorious month for deer-related collisions, as it’s the beginning of the general season for deer hunting.

Even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves face-to-face with an animal on the road. Sometimes, a deer collision is unavoidable, so we’ve come up with a few steps you should take after hitting a deer.

1. Make sure no one in the vehicle is injured

Hitting a deer can cause death or severe injury to you and passengers in your car. It’s important to get help for any injured persons before anything else.

2. Move your vehicle to a safe place

Pull to the side of the road, out of traffic’s way, and turn on your hazard lights. This will let you fully assess the damage without being in harm’s way. The lights will also allow other drivers to be aware of you (and possibly the deer) on the road.

3. Call the police

If a deer is blocking traffic, it could be a threat to other drivers. Call your local law enforcement agency and notify them of the situation. If you can move the dead deer out of traffic, do so, but do not tag or remove the deer from the area.

4. Document

Take photographs of the road, your surroundings, and damage. This can be helpful for filing an insurance claim.

5. Don’t touch the animal if you can avoid it

A frightened and wounded deer could hurt you or itself. Do not touch the animal if you don’t need to immediately move it off the road for safety.

6. Contact your insurance company

File an insurance claim if you have car damage you wish to be repaired. Keep in mind that your insurance premium may go up if you make a claim. However, you’ll want to do so for serious damage, since the repair will probably cost quite a bit.

7. Don’t immediately drive away

Look for loose parts, broken lights and other hazards as deer can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Drive away slowly and keep an eye out for unusual noises or movement of your car.

A deer stands in the middle of a paved road near tall, green trees

Texas had nearly 110,000 reported animal collisions from June and July of this year. Be more aware during the hours before sunrise and just after sunset because that’s when drivers are most likely to be in a deer collision. One estimator in the Dripping Springs area says the average cost to repair a vehicle with deer collision damage can range anywhere from $3,000-$5,000.

If you’ve been in a deer collision accident, upload your photos of the damage to our Smartphone Estimating Tool to get a quick and easy estimate.

A family of deer approach a road in a wooded area.
Deer are common in the Central Texas area. Use these tips to avoid hitting them on the road.

Annually across the country, there are more than one million deer-related accidents. The Central Texas area is no stranger to these types of collisions and as a local auto body shop, AMM Collision repairs dozens of cars involved in accidents with deer each year.

Any time you are driving, it is important to keep your eyes on the road. Pay close attention when driving in hilly and wooded areas where deer may suddenly come out and run toward cars. This is common in the Hill Country, especially in the evenings when animals are hard to spot outside your immediate line of sight.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid hitting a deer.

Pay attention

Deer typically roam more often during dusk or dawn, so pay attention if you are driving during these hours. If you are not familiar with the area where you are driving, look for caution signs that alert drivers to wildlife in the area.

Remember, if you see one deer there may be more nearby. They normally travel in packs.

Make a bright path

If the roads are not well lit and you do not have oncoming traffic, use high beams to create a brighter path and give you a better opportunity to see a deer before you come upon it.

Keep control

If you see a deer, slow down and brake firmly, but never swerve. Swerving can cause you to hit another car or lose control. Instead, brake and honk your horn loudly, which can potentially scare the animal away.

The deer may move, but since you won’t know what direction they may go, swerving can make the situation worse.

If you hit a deer…

Using extra caution can help to avoid an accident, but it still may not be enough. If you do hit a deer, call law enforcement and the local game warden.

Don’t touch the animal if it is injured as it could hurt you. It’s best to have trained professionals care for an injured deer. If the deer is dead, it is OK to move it off the road, but it is against the law in Texas to take it with you.

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A person in a suit uses their smart phone on a white surface.
Do your research before going with the collision repair your insurance recommends.

After an accident, your insurance company may recommend an auto body repair shop for your repairs. Some may feel obligated to use the recommended shop, but the choice is always yours on which collision center you want to use. Here are some pointers on how to decide where you want to go.

Choose Certified

As you choose a body shop, remember that you want certified collision repair. This means the technicians at that repair shop have been trained by the manufacturers to make repairs to your specific model of vehicle.

Insurance guarantee

Choosing your insurance’s repair shop recommendation could have benefits. Some insurance companies will guarantee the repairs for as long as you own the vehicle. If there is an issue with the repairs, they will be fixed at no cost to you. This could be beneficial in the long run and shows your insurance company has confidence in their chosen repair shop.

Deciding on the recommendation

Most insurance providers have a list of preferred repair shops. Remember, your agent can’t make you use a shop on their list. You have the right to choose where you want your vehicle repaired.

Preferred repair shops normally meet criteria set up by the insurance provider, such as meeting their quick deadlines for repair and providing the services at a low cost. Efficient repairs should still maintain quality, and faster does not always mean the work is performed correctly.

If you choose to use the insurance recommendation, ask if that shop uses less expensive parts or parts from the manufacturer. Manufacturer parts (or OEM parts) often fit and work better than aftermarket parts, and therefore have a better chance of having your repair last. Some shops may cut costs by using cheaper parts because of low payments from insurance companies.

AMM Collision is a preferred body shop with most insurance companies, but we work with any insurance provider. At all of our auto body repair shops, we use manufacturer recommended parts for the highest quality repairs. Contact our team for a free estimate or download our estimating tool on your smartphone for a quick and easy process that will get you back on the road.

 

A person in the passenger seat wearing a sweater points to a map.
When planning on a road trip, you may want to check a few items on your insurance coverage in case you run into car trouble.

A road trip is intended to be fun. No one plans on getting in an accident, and few people think ahead to what they might do if they get into one several hours down the road.

The first thing you should do is check with your insurance agent. If you need a tow, you’ll want to tow it to a nearby shop. If the vehicle is driveable, you can choose to get your car repaired where you are or back home.

Insurance coverage

Insurance coverage on a road trip depends on where your trip takes you. Before you leave on your trip, check your insurance policy to see where you are covered and review the details of your coverage plan.

If you travel anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, you are likely covered. If your trip is to Mexico, Central America, South America, or any other location, contact your insurance agent regarding coverage.

As you travel, remember that laws are different from state to state and different in other countries. Check the driving laws for the location you are going and all points in between, plus the insurance laws for those areas. The minimum requirements for coverage vary in different areas.

No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.

Schedule a repair

If you need a tow, most insurance policies will cover the cost within a certain radius from the accident. The insurance company can also schedule the tow no matter where you are located and can reserve a rental car for you, if needed. If you choose to have your vehicle towed back home and you are far away, discuss the coverage with your insurance agent. It’s likely you will have to cover the cost for a long-distance tow.

AMM Collision is an Austin and Central Texas auto body repair shop. We will arrange a tow and rental car for you if you choose us for repair.


Been in an accident? Get a quick and easy estimate using our free estimating tool today!

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