Delay, Deny, Defend: What You Need to Know About This Insurance Scam Around Mercer Island

insurance scam, delay deny defend

Your auto insurance provider can be a lifesaver in the event of a collision near Mercer Island. However, as a for-profit business, some insurance agencies may resort to an underhand tactic known as delay, defend and deny, or DDD.

What Is Delay?

The first step post-collision is to file a claim with your insurance provider. Your vehicle is likely in need of collision repairs. One tactic the insurance agent may do is delay the claim as long as possible. The idea is to get you to become impatient. When you’re strapped for time, you may be more inclined to settle for the provider’s proposed settlement to get the process over with.

What Is Deny?

The insurance company may even completely deny your claim by exploiting any loophole they can in your policy contract. Some car owners accept the decision, while others threaten legal action.

Continue Reading →

How to Identify a Drunk Driver on the Road Near Highlands

drunk driver

People living in or around Highlands are preparing for the holidays. The celebrations may include alcohol. In turn, this may lead to poor judgment among a few people and getting behind the wheel when inebriated. This time of year, it’s more crucial than ever to learn to identify drunk driving on the road and react accordingly.

Signs of Drunken Driving

Some motorists have brought their vehicles to us for collision repairs after being in an accident involving a drunk driver. Some require serious work to restore the crumple zones, while others are relatively minor and only need a dent repair or auto paint touchup.

Be really cognizant this holiday, so you don’t become a victim because of another driver’s poor judgment. Maintain your distance from vehicles moving erratically. Continue Reading →

Does Your Collision Shop Perform Aluminum Car Frame Repair Near Issaquah?

aluminum car frame

Auto manufacturers are turning away from conventional steel and more towards aluminum for the car frame. Aluminum provides higher durability and tensile strength at a fraction of the weight. The problem, though, is that not all auto collision shops have adapted their facility to handle aluminum car frame repair. Learn why restoring aluminum frames poses a challenge for many auto body companies.

Why the Move to Aluminum?

The automotive sector is transitioning to aluminum because it’s a lighter form of metal that makes a car more nimble and lightweight. It also lowers emissions and boosts fuel economy. Even more importantly, aluminum has a higher crash energy absorption ability than steel. Plus, aluminum is more recycle-friendly than steel, making the material easier for scrapyards to handle.

Can Repair Shops Handle Aluminum Restoration?

Steel remains the most widely-used material for car frames, though aluminum comes in a close second. Even so, the collision and dent repair industry has been slow in making the necessary adaptation. Most shops still lack the commercial equipment to handle aluminum restoration to industry standards.

Aluminum restoration requires heat treatment to soften the metal and reshape and frame to its original position. The process is very complex and requires the whole frame – not just the damaged area – to be treated. There’s a small margin for error, making it an exceptionally difficult process without the right equipment. Most shops just end up replacing the entire frame, translating to a higher cost for the customer. Continue Reading →

The Proper Way to Respond to a Tailgater Near Factoria

respond to a tailgater, tailgater response, tailgating

There’s a reason drivers are encouraged to maintain a three to six-second following distance behind the car ahead. Unfortunately, dealing with a tailgater is something you may have to put up with every now and then on the road. It’s precisely because of tailgating that collision repairs are as common as they are. Learn how to properly and safely respond to a tailgater.

Why Tailgating Is Dangerous

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions make up 23% of all auto accidents. Many of these crashes could have been avoided but occurred because a driver was tailgating for one reason or another.

When you follow too closely to the car ahead, you’re more likely to collide with the vehicle should it suddenly come to a full stop. In other words, you have less time to react, and your car might not have the full stopping distance it needs to avoid a collision. Continue Reading →

Bigger Vs Smaller Cars in Renton: Which Is Safer?

bigger smaller cars, car safety

Are family-size SUVs and trucks safer than smaller cars? The short answer is “yes.” However, the full answer is more complicated than that. Our collision center restores vehicles of all sizes, and we can discuss at length the issue of bigger or smaller cars when it comes to automotive safety.

Bigger or Smaller Cars for Renton Commuters?

Yes, it’s generally true that larger cars are safer than compact vehicles. However, the safety gap has significantly narrowed in recent years due to technological advancements. This includes implementations like rear and side airbags, 360-degree cameras, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring.

Of course, a larger car with these technologies is still safer overall than a compact car with the same safety features.

Size and Weight

Larger cars absorb less damage. This stems from the bigger hood, resulting in a more robust crumple zone that better withstands the force of a head-on collision.

When a bigger car and a smaller car collide, the impact force from the larger car is transmitted to the smaller vehicle. This elevates the likelihood of whiplash for the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle. 

Car Height

Compact vehicles, however, do possess one major advantage. Larger cars usually have a higher ground clearance, which minimizes the center of gravity and elevates the probability of a rollover. Rollovers, despite happening in just 1% of car crashes, account for one-third of driver fatalities.

What Is the Safest Vehicle?

Instead of just looking at car size, we recommend factoring in other variables. This includes the IIHS crash test scores, safety features, and recalls. No matter the size, we recommend a car model and year with an IIHS score of Top Safety Pick+.

We Restore all Car Sizes

We restore frames for family minivans and compact sedans alike. This includes auto painting restoration and dent repair. Drop your car off at Doug’s Auto Collision Center for an inspection. The subject of bigger or smaller cars is complex and goes beyond size alone.

Bigger or Smaller Cars; We Serve Them All in Renton 

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on September 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

How to Prevent a Collision in the Garage in Bellevue

garage collision

You may assume your car is safe in the garage. Yet, this is one of the primary locations where your vehicle incurs dents and scratched auto paint. Learn how to minimize a garage collision in Bellevue.

Organization Is Key

The garage is almost always doubled as a storage space for large equipment like tools, old furniture, and old appliances. Most home garages as a consequence become quite messy. It’s not unusual for people to drive into these objects when pulling in or out. If there are objects stacked on top of one another, it could tip over and land on your car.

Keep The Space Well Lit

Garages tend to be poorly lit. This is so even of garages with a window. We suggest upgrading the light source with a brighter incandescent bulb. Some homeowners may want to use an LED bulb for its energy-saving benefits. However, LED bulbs may create signal interference and negatively impact the garage remote control’s range.

Use the Tennis Ball Trick

One hack is to hang a tennis ball from the ceiling. Position it so that the windshield touches the ball when the bumper is about one to two feet from the wall. Pulling far too inside into the garage is a primary cause of front bumper dents.

Turn on the Headlights

This is seemingly common sense when driving at night. However, a lot of drivers switch the light off right before pulling into the garage. You need all the visibility you can get especially if your garage is messy with limited space. You should also turn on the headlights when pulling out.

We Restore Cars from a Garage Collision in Bellevue

With its confined space, the garage is an area where a minor collision is highly probable. Should you incur a dent or scratch, bring your vehicle to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. You can easily minimize a garage collision by modifying the room.

Garage Collision Prevention in Bellevue 

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on August 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

What Do You Do After a Collision on Private Property Around Mercer Island?

private property collision

The overwhelming majority of car accidents take place on public streets. However, several of our clients come to us for collision repairs after an accident on private property. How do you respond in this scenario? What’s the right response in a private property collision?

Involved in a Private Property Collision Around Mercer Island?

If you were in a collision, take the same action you would for an accident on public roads. Take photos of all damages, talk to potential witnesses, and call law enforcement. Finally, remember to call your insurance company and DMV once everyone is safely off the road.

Who Is Responsible?

The city has no liability when an accident happens on public grounds. This is true even if, for example, a neglected pothole, was a contributing factor. With this in mind, you can’t file a claim against the county/municipality. 

The rules are different, however, in a collision on private grounds. Apart from the two parties that were driving, the property owner can also bear some degree of liability. When is the property owner liable? An instance would be a fender bender in a privately-owned garage due to massive blind spots or very narrow lanes.

In some scenarios, the property owner may bear liability even when an at-fault driver flees the scene. An example is a hit-and-run after a collision with a parked vehicle. The parked vehicle’s owner may submit a claim on the property owner’s premises liability policy. 

Let Us Restore Your Vehicle Post-Collision

Bring your vehicle to Doug’s Auto Collision Center irrespective of where the collision occurred. We perform frame repairs and minor fixes, such as dent repair and auto paint restoration. Talk to your insurer to determine the necessary course of action upon a collision on private property.

Private Property Collision Response Around Mercer Island

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on July 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Summer Car Accidents Near Highlands: Why Collisions Increase This Time of Year

summer driving

Statistically, auto collisions increase from the months of June to August. We see an increase in customers bringing in their vehicles for collision repairs during this season. Why are summer car accidents so commonplace? What’s the reason behind the sudden spike?

Teens Are Out of School

According to studies, teens spend 44% more time driving in the summer than during the school months. Naturally, teens are newbies on the road. Less experience driving means more mistakes, such as failing to signal, yielding the right of way, or exceeding the speed limit.

The Heat

Heat indirectly leads to car crashes. How so? High heat leads to issues like tire blowouts and engine overheating, both of which occur mid-commute. This may lead to a collision before the driver can safely pull over. Motorists should use this time to assess their coolant levels and tire pressure. Also, this is a good time to sign up with AAA or other roadside service assistance.

Vacationing Season

More drivers are on the road embarking on lengthy commutes across state lines. This adds to more traffic on highways and freeways, creating a greater likelihood of minor to major fender benders. Drivers may also be more distracted as they fiddle with their GPS or other driving aid.

Road Construction

Construction companies take on more projects in the summer. More road work means more lane closures and drivers having to take an alternative and unfamiliar route. Increased detours and more cars crammed into fewer lanes ultimately lead to more collisions.

Stay Safe from Summer Car Accidents in or Around Highlands

Involved in a collision? From minor fender benders to major collisions, you can rely on Doug’s Auto Collision Center for repairs. We handle the full restoration process, from dent repair to frame straightening. Be mindful on the road this season to avoid summer car accidents.

Collision Repair for Summer Car Accidents Near Highlands

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on June 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Do Car Dent Pullers Near Issaquah Work?

dent puller

Car owners have a tendency to gravitate towards quick fixes to save time and money. After all, isn’t this avenue worth exploring if it can prevent a trip to the local collision repair shop? Car dent pullers are one such quick-fix permeating the market. Do they actually pull a dent back into place? 

Car Dent Pullers Near Issaquah; How They Work

A car dent puller performs precisely what its name suggests. You can find these gadgets at your typical automotive store and certainly on Amazon. They range from $15 to $80. Two main styles of pullers are available: suction and glue-based pullers.

Suction pullers work like a plunger. Attach it to the dent, and the suction power pulls the metal back into place. You may have to apply the puller multiple times to get it to firmly attach to the frame.

With glue-based pullers, you glue the device onto the dent. The puller has leg-like attachments that sit just outside the dent. The puller has a tab that you twist to pull the dent back in place.

Do They Work?

Do these pullers actually work as seen on television and in demonstrations? Here’s the truth: pullers may work on shallow dents. On deeper dents, they may not work, or if it does, it may leave a permanent indentation and a clear sign that a dent was once there. Think about it; if dent pullers truly worked like magic, then there would be no need for professional paintless dent repairs.

We don’t advise using dent pullers if paint damage is also present. A professional technician will need to fix the auto paint upon restoring the dent.

We Restore all Dents

Only an auto technician can completely restore a dent. Store-bought dent pullers are only effective on the most surface-level dents. For more severe blemishes, bring your car to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. In spite of the claims, car dent pullers simply often don’t perform the way they’re marketed.

Car Dent Pullers not Working? Let Us Help Near Issaquah

Serving Customers in Bellevue, Renton, Highlands, Factoria, Issaquah and Mercer Island

Posted on May 14, 2021 | Published by Ignite Local | Related Local Business

Why Frame Measuring Matters in a Collision Repair in Factoria

frame measuring, frame measurementWhat appears on the surface to be a minor collision can cause hidden damage. This can make your vehicle unsafe should another collision take place at a later point. This is why frame measuring is a big deal as part of the collision repair process.

Frame Measuring Explained

Before we discuss frame measuring, we need to explain what happens during an automotive impact. When two vehicles collide, the frame absorbs the majority of force to lessen the impact in the interior. This can cause the frame to bend or warp out of alignment. This may also occur in areas of the frame opposite of the impact zone.

Frame measuring assesses the degree that the frame is out of alignment after a collision. Doug’s Auto Collision Center employs a computerized system that includes lasers, ultrasound technology, and other commercial devices to ensure absolute precision. The frame measurement process examines whether a frame can be restored or if it needs to be replaced. If the latter, data acquired from the system determines the precise measurement and specs for the replacement frame. Continue Reading →