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July 20, 2017 The 6 Most Common Car Accidents—And How To Avoid Them | Lakeland Collision Repair Shop Advice

Every time a happy customer leaves our Lakeland collision repair shop we hope that we don’t see them again. It’s not that we don’t like you all—we do—it’s that nobody who comes through our doors is having a great day (unless they’re looking to have some customization done on their ride – then they’re having a great day that’s about to get better.) People come to collision repair shops because they’ve been in collisions; maybe a little bump backing out of a parking spot, maybe a head-on collision on a highway.

So, as bad as it might be for our business, we’re going to share with you some of the most common causes of car accidents and how you can avoid them.

 

  1. Distracted Driving

The absolute number-one cause of collisions, large or small, is distracted driving. Cell phones are a major cause: people seem to believe that while only a complete sociopath would take a phone call during a movie, having your phone to your ear or worse, sending a text while driving is still okay. It’s not, and it’s causing a lot of collisions and getting a lot of people killed, so cut it out.

What you can do

Get a hands-free kit or a Bluetooth headset to pair with your phone. Failing that, put it in the glove compartment or the passenger seat if it’s empty- and if your passenger seat isn’t empty then they can take the call instead of you.

 

  1. Drunk Driving

This is another one we can’t believe still happens in 2017. You’d think that after decades of being told that it’s not okay people would have gotten the message, but there was still 72,039 impaired driving incidents in 2015 (80% of drunk drivers were male, so guys, get it together!).

What you can do

If you don’t know how you can prevent drunk driving then maybe this ‘driving’ thing isn’t for you. Have a designated driver and have a cab company number on your phone.

 

  1. Speeding

This is one we’re all guilty of- everybody’s done 65 in a 50 zone at some point. Speeding isn’t only dangerous, it’s costly- speed cameras are being placed at more intersections and are getting better at catching speeders all the time. We guarantee there’s never been a time in your life when a $200 ticket was worth it.

What you can do

Keep an eye on posted speed limits and don’t exceed them. Simple.

 

  1. Rain, Ice and Snow

Most of us probably overestimate how much adverse conditions affect stopping distances. With rain on the roads your stopping distance doubles, with ice on the road, it’s increased ten times. So, while in dry conditions it can take a car travelling at 64 kph 24 metres stop, that’s 48 metres in the rain and 240 metres for ice.

What you can do

Get those winter tires put on as soon as you can once the weather starts to turn. Once they’re on, get used to driving slower and braking sooner than you usually would, and make sure that you know what to do if you skid on ice.

 

  1. Driving At Night

Twice as many accidents occur during the night as they do in the day. Although your headlights may illuminate objects for a hundred metres ahead of you, they still leave blind spots where anything could be happening. You’re also much more likely to encounter drunk drivers on the road at night- most arrests for impaired driving happen between 11 pm to 4 am.

What you can do

Your car’s lights—all of them—are your best friends. Make sure they’re all at 100% before you set out and if possible change the factory lights for more powerful LEDs- we can help with that.

 

  1. Drowsy Driving

Feeling tired can have as much of an effect on your driving ability as alcohol and drugs, but a bartender won’t take your keys away if you didn’t get eight hours sleep the night before. You don’t need to be falling asleep at the wheel to be impaired enough for an accident to happen; drowsiness alone reduces your reaction time and impairs your judgement, making accidents more likely.

What you can do

Sleep problems are a ‘global epidemic’ and 60% of Canadians feel tired most of the time, so the standard advice about getting eight hours of sleep a night isn’t likely to do much good. If you feel drowsy when driving open a window to give yourself a little extra oxygen, turn the radio up or talk to somebody, drink something caffeinated (maybe start keeping a 5-hour Energy drink in your glove compartment) and, if all else fails, pull over and take a nap.

 

Like we said above, we don’t want to see you. If you’re in our Lakeland collision repair shop then you or somebody else is likely to have ignored one of the problems above, all of which have easy fixes. You can stay safe out on the roads, and if not (or if that deer ended up on the wrong part of your truck), then we’ll see you soon.  After all, this is not just our shop, it’s your shop (but we prefer to see you for customization work)!