Are you inadvertently putting your vehicle at risk for auto body damage? While many drivers are aware of the hazardous habits they need to fix, others have little idea of the behaviors that put their vehicles at risk. At Minnetonka Collision, we perform a considerable number of auto body repairs that could have been avoided by practicing safer driving techniques. To help you better preserve your vehicle, we’ve outlined a few of the most common hazardous driving habits below.
Neglecting Your Parking Brake
Did you know you should engage your vehicle’s parking brake every time you park, regardless of terrain? It’s true — whether your vehicle is a manual or an automatic, the parking brake is designed to help prevent accidental collisions. On steep or uneven surfaces (such as a sloped driveway), engaging the parking brake is especially important.
Because the mechanism serves to prevent the vehicle from accidentally rolling away, this simple tweak to your parking routine can potentially save you thousands of dollars in auto body repair costs.
Slamming Into Potholes & Speedbumps
No matter where you drive, chances are there’s a pothole somewhere along the route. And while potholes aren’t inherently dangerous on their own, they can do some damage to your vehicle if you don’t handle them properly.
Slamming into potholes and speedbumps puts your vehicle’s alignment, suspension, steering, and bumpers at risk for damage. Depending on road conditions and how fast you drive, ramming through a moderately sized pothole can also cause damage to the body of your car.
To protect your safety and the integrity of your vehicle, stay alert while driving, keep your eyes on the road, and always follow posted speed limits. If you approach a pothole that you cannot avoid without veering into another lane of traffic, slow down considerably before driving over it.
In many cases, damage from potholes can be difficult to detect, especially if there’s a minor issue with an internal component. If you’re guilty of this bad habit and you think your car suffered internal damage, schedule an inspection at an auto repair shop.
Following Too Closely
Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to tailgate, but crowded roadways and time constraints can cause sound judgment to take a back seat. Though it can be tempting to tailgate when you’re short on time or frustrated with slow drivers, don’t take that risk!
The tires on the vehicle in front of you can easily pick up road debris and propel it straight toward your vehicle. Depending on the size and weight of the object, that debris can cause significant damage to your vehicle, and in rare cases, serious bodily injury.
To protect your safety and maintain the integrity of your vehicle, always keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. Three seconds is a good rule of thumb, but if you’re driving in poor weather conditions or have limited visibility, extend that distance if possible.
Paying Attention to Distractions While Driving
In an age where cell phones seem permanently attached to palms, it can be difficult to tear your eyes away from your phone to focus on the road. In all honesty, though, you should never pay more attention to your phone than to the road in front of you. The same holds true for any other potential distractions present in your vehicle.
A split second is all it takes for an accident to occur, which means driving is definitely not an opportunity to practice your multitasking skills. To avoid putting you and your passengers’ safety at risk (and to avoid unnecessary auto body repairs), do your best to minimize the following common driving distractions:
● Eating while driving
● Excessive noise inside the vehicle while driving
● Driving while fatigued — pull off the road if you’re feeling drowsy
● Viewing screens of any kind while driving
The entire goal of operating an automobile is to get yourself where you need to go, both efficiently and safely. Accomplish that goal by giving your full and undivided attention to the road and the vehicles around you!
Minnetonka Collision: Your Twin Cities Source for High-End Auto Body Repair
At Minnetonka Collision, we know accidents happen, and that’s what we’re here for! Whether you’re dealing with a minor fender bender, a major collision, or anything in between, our expert auto body repair specialists are ready to restore your vehicle. Our decades of experience, advanced repair techniques, and limited lifetime guarantees make us the Twin Cities’ preferred choice for high-end auto body repair. When you’re dealing with damage and need repairs you can count on, make us your first call!
To learn more about our auto body repair services or to schedule your free estimate, give us a call at 763-230-7805 or send us a message on our contact page, and we’ll be in touch!