Summer Car Accidents: Why Collisions Increase This Time of Year

summer driving

Statistically, auto collisions increase during the summer months. This is apparent to us as we see a spike in collision repairs. Why are the number of summer car accidents so much higher compared to other seasons?

Teens Are Out of School

According to research, teens spend about 44% more time behind the wheel in the summer than during the school months. More inexperienced drivers on the road for longer periods ultimately leads to more collisions. Teens are also more likely to be involved in distracted driving.

The Heat

Heat indirectly causes car accidents. How so? Heat is the main cause of car troubles, such as engine overheating and tire blowouts. These occur while the car is in motion. If the driver is unable to safely pull over, a collision may incur.

This is an especially good time of year to check your tire pressure and coolant levels. You should also have the number of AAA or another tow service on your phone for emergencies.

Vacationing Season

More motorists are on the road for lengthy cross-country trips. This adds to the existing traffic congestion. This also means more drivers are travelling on unfamiliar roads. Those same drivers may also be more distracted as they fiddle with their phones for directions.

Road Construction

Many road construction companies increase their workload during the summer and scale back in winter. With road construction comes changes in driving conditions, such as detours and the temporary shutdown of traffic lanes. This forces more cars to share fewer lanes and take unfamiliar routes.

Involved in a Summer Car Accident?

If you are involved in a collision this summer, bring your vehicle to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. We perform dent repair and auto paint restoration; dents and faded paint also increase during this season. Stay safe on the road and be aware of summer car accidents.

Summertime Auto Collision Repairs

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

What Do You Do After a Collision on Private Property?

private property collision

The vast majority of car accidents occur on public roads. However, a few of our customers come to us for collision repairs after an accident on private property. What do you do then? What is the appropriate course of action after a collision occurs on private property?

Were You Involved in a Collision on Private Property?

If a collision occurred, respond the way you normally would for an accident on public roads. This means call law enforcement and document the scene. Take photos of damages, collect witness info, etc. Be sure also to report the incident to your insurance company and the local DMV.

Who Is Responsible?

The city bears no responsibility when an accident occurs on public grounds. This holds true even if, say, a neglected pothole, was a contributing factor. The city has no liability, so you can’t file a claim against the municipality. 

The rules differ, though, in a collision on private property. Aside from the two parties that were behind the wheel, the property owner can also share liability. When is the property owner liable? An example would be a collision in a privately-owned garage due to enormous blind spots or extremely narrow lanes.

In some instances, the property owner may bear liability even in cases where an at-fault driver flees the scene. An example is a hit-and-run after colliding with a parked car. The owner of the parked vehicle may file a claim on the property owner’s premises liability policy. 

We Service Your Vehicle After a Collision 

Bring your car to Doug’s Auto Collision Center regardless of whether the collision occurred on public or private grounds. We perform major frame repairs and minor touchups, such as dent repair and auto paint restoration. Speak with your insurer to determine what to do after a collision on private property.

Automobile Collision Servicing

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

Do Car Dent Pullers Work?

dent puller

People naturally look for quick-fixes in order to save a few bucks. After all, who wouldn’t want to save themselves a trip to their local collision repair center? The car dent puller is one such quick-fix. Do they work? That’s the critical question we’ll attempt to answer.

How Does a Car Dent Puller Work?

A car dent puller does exactly what its name implies. You can find one in most automotive stores and definitely at Amazon. It will run anywhere from $15 to $70. Two types of pullers exist: suction and glue-based pullers.

Suction pullers work similarly to a plunger. Just attach it to the dent, and the force of the suction pops the metal back into place. The suction may come off a few times, so expect to reapply as necessary until the puller firmly attaches.

With glue-based pullers, you glue the contraption onto the dent. The puller has legs that sit just outside the dent. The puller has a pulling tab that you twist to pull the dent back in place.

Do They Work?

What everyone is wondering is whether these pullers work as advertised. If they worked like magic, our paintless dent repairs would be obsolete. Unfortunately, they don’t always perform as expected. They may work on shallow dents on a flat surface. On deeper dents, and dents on angular surfaces, they provide an imperfect finish. 

We do not recommend a dent puller at all if the dent has accompanying paint damage. A professional will need to restore the auto paint after fixing the dent.

We Restore all Dents

Only a professional can fully restore a dent. Dent repair kits only work on the most surface-level dents. For deeper blemishes, bring your vehicle to Doug’s Auto Collision Center. Contrary to the claims, car dent pullers often don’t live up to the claims.

Paintless Dent Restoration for All Automotive Types

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

Why Frame Measuring Matters in a Collision Repair

frame measuring, frame measurementEven seemingly minor collisions can cause hidden damage. This can seriously compromise safety should another collision occur in the future. This is why frame measuring is so important during collision repairs.

What Is Frame Measuring?

Before we explain frame measuring, we need to talk a bit about what happens during a collision. When cars collide, the vehicle’s frame absorbs the bulk of force in order to minimize the impact inside the cabin. This can cause the frame to bend out of alignment, sometimes in areas away from the point of impact.

Frame measuring is a way of measuring the degree, if any, that the frame is out of alignment after a collision. Doug’s Auto Collision Center uses a computerized frame measuring system that includes lasers, ultrasound technology, and other high-speed electronics for pinpoint accuracy. The frame measurement process determines whether a frame can be bent back in shape or if the car needs a replacement frame. If the latter, data from the system determines the precise measurement for the replacement frame. Continue Reading →

Five Unsuspecting Items That Damage Car Paint

car paint damageAuto paint is more fragile than most people realize. Here’s a surprising list of everyday items that can damage car paint. You’ll notice that this list contains seemingly benign materials; but each of them can erode paint.

1. Coffee and Soda

Do you make morning coffee runs at your local Starbucks? Don’t set the drink on the hood of your car while you fiddle with your keys. A spill is detrimental to the paint. Coffee and soda are highly acidic, which means that these drinks can burn away the outer coating. The sugar can also leave behind a sticky residue.

2. Shaving Cream

Spraying shaving cream on a car is a common prank. However, the prank isn’t as harmless as one might think. The cream leaves behind a resin that can leave a stain once it dries. If your car falls victim to this prank, then wash the cream off immediately with soapy water. Continue Reading →

Can Snow Damage Your Car?

snow car damage, snow damageThe Bellevue area doesn’t always see snow, though snowfall does occasionally occur in winter. This can actually be hazardous for your vehicle. How so? We explain how snow damages cars and increases the likelihood of a collision.

How Does Snow Damage Cars?

During winter, city workers cover the road in salt to de-ice the surface. While beneficial for minimizing accidents, the salt mixes with the ice. When the snow melts, the salt and water create a chemical reaction that corrodes the exposed metal of your vehicle. It also destroys the auto paint. Even worse, it can cause functional damage if the snow gets into the undercarriage. Eventually, it slowly makes its way to exposed parts, such as the brakes and engine block.

Snow Increases Chances of Collisions

Snow, of course, makes roads more slippery, though the road salt does restore some of the traction. Snow can also freeze the windshield wipers, rendering them inoperable. Most motorists are unaware of this until they try to operate the wipers on the road. When the rain/snow obscures the windshield and the wipers don’t budge, you quickly lose visibility, increasing the odds of a collision. Always check the wipers before pulling out of the driveway. Continue Reading →

How to Spot a Drunk Driver on the Road

drunk driverEveryone in Bellevue is gearing up for the holidays. Enjoying the festivities often entails alcohol, and some people who’ve been drinking make the horrific decision to get behind the wheel. To stay safe on the road, learn how to spot a drunk driver.

Signs of Drunken Driving

Some clients bring their cars to us for collision repairs after being in a fender bender with a drunk driver. Some require major restorative work to the frame, while others only require a dent repair or auto paint touchup.

Be especially careful this holiday to avoid falling victim to an impaired driver. Keep your distance from cars moving erratically. Continue Reading →

Should You Rely on Insurance Photo Estimates?

insurance photo estimate, insurance photosMore insurance companies are expediting the claims process via instant insurance photo estimates. All you have to do is take a photo of the damage and submit it to the agency. A few weeks later, you get a check in the mail. Is this process reliable, or are you being low-balled?

The Truth About Insurance Photo Estimates

We don’t question that photo estimates are convenient and a time saver. This cuts down on a lot of logistics for both the insured driver and insurance agency. Some companies even have their own crash claim app.

You should definitely take photos of all collision damage, including minor dents and auto paint scratches. However, according to insurance data, two out of three claims are underpaid if claims are resolved within 48 hours. The odds increase with sole reliance on photo estimates. Continue Reading →

Preliminary Vs Accurate Repair Estimate: What’s the Difference?

repair estimate, preliminary estimate, accurate estimateFor a collision, or any other auto repair, you need to acquire a repair estimate. One of the questions we often receive is whether we charge for an estimate. The short answer is no. More accurately, though, it depends whether you want a preliminary estimate or an accurate estimate.

What Is a Preliminary Repair Estimate?

We provide a preliminary repair estimate free of charge. In fact, we suggest staying away from any collision shops that charge for this basic service.

For a preliminary estimate, bring your car to our shop. We will make note of the visible damages, determine labor cost, and factor additional work, such as auto paint restoration.

The process is free, but the estimate in the ballpark. Expect the actual cost to be plus or minus a few hundred or thousand dollars.

You can take your car to multiple collision shops for a preliminary repair estimate. Continue Reading →

Can Autumn Leaves Damage Your Car?

car damage leaves, autumn leaves damage, fall leaves damageFall is here. For many tree species, this means the annual cycle of shedding their leaves in preparation for new growth. Leaves are light as a feather and may seem harmless. However, car damage from leaves is actually not uncommon.

How Do Leaves Damage Your Car?

The damage is mostly at the aesthetic level. Autumn leaves decompose wherever they land. As the natural decomposition process takes place, the leaves release sap, tannic acids, and other chemicals. If leaves remain on your vehicle for prolonged periods, they can degrade onto the surface and damage the auto paint. In some cases, it may also leave a fossil-like imprint on your car. While fall leaves obviously don’t cause dents, they can cause micro-abrasions and surface-level scratches.

Bothell and surrounding cities tend to have fairly humid fall weather. The moisture and fluctuation in warm and cool air expedites the deterioration process of the leaves and hastens damage to car surfaces.

Autumn leaves on the road can also indirectly damage your vehicle. Leaves obscure potholes, curbs, and dips in the road. Wet fall leaves can also create slippery surfaces and increase odds of a collision. Continue Reading →