The Truth About Car Insurance “Steering”

car insurance steering, insurance steering, car insurance

Most motorists know to contact their insurance provider in the immediate aftermath of an auto collision. You have to be careful, though, of an unethical practice known as “steering.” Here’s some helpful info about car insurance steering and how to avoid being tricked into settling for subpar collision repairs.

What Is Car Insurance Steering?

“Steering” occurs when the insurance provider instructs the policy holder or claimant to have their car repaired at a specific auto shop. The company does this because a specific shop has lower fees, thus reducing costs to the insurance provider. The practice raises the insurance company’s profit at the policy holder’s expense

Car insurance steering is illegal under the 1963 Federal Consent Decree Act, though the practice is still rampant in the industry.

Why Is Steering Bad?

Cheaper repair costs often mean your car gets inferior aftermarket parts. Insurance companies may have agreements with collision shops, with the latter agreeing to reduced parts and labor costs. Since they are working for lower payments, technicians may skip procedures and take shortcuts.

Scare Tactics

Insurance companies may try to persuade you to go to a specific shop. They may employ scare tactics by telling you that the warranty is void if you don’t use a particular repair center. Similarly, they may tell you that you may be responsible for additional costs by going to a different shop.

Understand this: under US law, policy holders have the right to bring their vehicle to an auto shop of their choosing. Your insurance provider may give you recommendations but cannot require a specific place.

Don’t Fall for the Lies

Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for collision repairs and auto painting. While we work with insurance agencies, we never make shady agreements with them in exchange for more customers. Be mindful of car insurance steering; the practice is widespread despite being illegal.

Collision Repair Done the Right Way

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

Teen Distracted Driving: How to Talk to Your Child About Responsible Commuting

distracted teen driving, teen driving, distracted driving

With school out, more teen drivers are naturally going to be on the road. Unfortunately, this also increases the possibility of collisions. Drivers under 20-years-old are the highest demographic at risk of distracted driving. How will you talk to your child about the dangers of distracted teen driving?

Be an Example

Can you effectively tell your teen to stay off the phone when you speak on the phone yourself while driving? If you are guilty of distracted driving, then tell your child you are in the process of improving safe driving practices. Let him/her know you want to practice safe driving together.

Positive Reinforcement

Some negative feedback is certainly warranted. However, you should equally praise good and safe driving skills. If your teen maintains the speed limit or ignores an incoming call, then give praise where due.

Establish a Pre-Driving Checklist

Make sure your teen performs several pre-driving functions before turning the ignition. This includes:

  • Fastening seat belt
  • Adjusting the AC/heater to the desired temperature
  • Adjusting rear and side mirrors
  • Setting GPS navigation
  • Setting the radio to the desired station

Performing these actions before pulling out of the driveway reduces unnecessary distractions and keeps the driver focused on the road.

Practice in Heavier Traffic

Practice is the only way you get better at anything. Parents often only teach their children to drive when traffic is light. They usually don’t encounter peak traffic until they’re on their own. Be with your teen as they practice real-world traffic situations, such as merging onto a busy freeway. 

Stop Teen Distracted Driving This Summer

Aside from collision repairs, Absolute Auto Body also does auto painting touchup and other services. At times, motorists bring their car to us  with minor damage caused by an inexperienced young driver. Distracted teen driving is frequently a cause of collisions; talk to your child this summer about its dangers.

Dependable Auto Collision and Dent Repair

Locally owned and serving customers since 2005

Faded Car Restoration: How to Make Faded Paint Look New Again

faded car restoration, paint fading

Just as you should protect your skin from UV rays, you should do the same for your car. Auto paint oxidization is a common problem and leads to the dreaded faded appearance. Fortunately, faded car restoration is possible; you can also minimize car paint fading with a few simple precautions.

What Causes Auto Paint Fading?

The primary cause of car paint fading is exposure to ultra-violet sunrays, which bleach the paint. During sunny days, the car metal becomes very hot, which is also not good for the paint. The roof is usually the first area to begin fading.

Another cause of fading is the use of abrasive cleaners. Do not use scouring pads or regular dish soap. Use a microfiber cloth and a cleaning solution formulated for vehicles. 

Even a minor collision can lead to faded paint due to the impact’s chipping the paint and exposing the metal.

Prevention Measures

Please keep a consistent washing schedule. Regular washing protects the outer coating from degrading. You should also regularly apply wax. Aside from giving the paint a nice shine, it also adds an additional protective layer. Wax in liquid and paste form work especially well for cars with faded paint. Finally, park indoors when possible or at least in a shaded spot.

How to Restore a Faded Car

You may try a clay bar after washing the car. This removes much of the surface impurities that contribute to the faded appearance. For more severe fading, though, you may have to bring the car to a collision center for auto paint restoration. A technician can evaluate the condition of the paint and make an assessment.

We Are Experts in Faded Car Restoration

Car paint naturally lose its gloss and shine with age. Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for an auto paint restoration session. View our gallery to see old vehicles that now look like new after a faded car restoration

Auto Paint Restoration for all Car Makes and Models

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

Beware of Spring Driving Dangers

SPRING DRIVING DANGERS

Spring is in full swing. This may be a season of flowers and sunny weather. However, this also contains hidden dangers for commuters. Be mindful of the spring driving dangers. Stay safe on the road by knowing what to watch out for behind the wheel.

Active Wildlife

Many animals tend to be less active during winter. Some are in hibernation and completely dormant. However, once the weather warms up in spring, they begin actively moving about as they mate and forage for food. Beware of animals that can dart across the road without warning. At times, customers come to us for collision repairs after colliding with an animal.

Allergies

Spring is the season of allergies. People who are really sensitive may take allergy medications, which often leads to drowsiness. Sleepiness impairs your ability to remain vigilant while driving. Always know the potentially dangerous side effects of the medications you are taking.

Bicyclists

With warmer weather, more people are going to commute via bicycle. This increases the odds of a collision with a bicyclist. Carefully watch the shoulder of the road and give bicyclists plenty of room. A collision may only result in some scratched auto paint for you. However, it can mean serious injury or death for a vulnerable bicyclist.

Increased Speeds 

For whatever reason, people tend to increase speeds as the temperature rises. Watch your speed, especially in pedestrian and school zones. At the same time, actively scan the road for dangerous drivers who are driving way beyond the speed limit.

Remain Mindful of Spring Driving Dangers

Spring is a season of pleasant weather, flowers, and songbirds. However, the season also entails greater hazards on the road. Contact Absolute Auto Body for collision repairs and other services. Spring driving dangers are a real risk even for the most vigilant drivers. 

Automotive Collision Repair and Servicing

Looking out for customers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington

Does Automatic Braking Reduce Collisions?

automatic braking, reduce collisions

Modern cars come with a full suite of safety technology which was unavailable just a decade ago. One such technology is automatic braking. While this addition certainly gives motorists peace of mind, we have to ask if it actually prevents auto collisions.

How Automatic Braking Works

Auto manufacturers introduced the first automatic braking systems in 2006. Most systems utilize sensors that detect when the vehicle is dangerously in close proximity to another car or object. If the driver fails to react, the brakes automatically engage. Other systems initiate an alarm that audibly warns you when you drive too close to another vehicle.

What the Study Shows

A three-year study from Virginia Tech revealed some eye-opening information regarding vehicle collisions. The findings show that 75% of collisions were due to driver error. Of those, 68% were due, in part, to driver distraction.

A separate study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that automatic full-braking systems curbed rear-end collisions by 40%. Vehicles equipped with audible attention warning systems had 23% fewer collisions. Researchers speculated that collisions nationwide would drop by about 13% if all vehicles had some automatic braking system in place.

The Verdict

Automatic braking has our approval, though they’re not a substitute for alert driving. Through years of customer interaction, we’ve learned that the collision claim process can be extremely stressful. This applies even for collisions only resulting in minor auto paint damage. In addition, warranties often don’t cover collisions where you were at fault, which braking systems are designed to prevent. This makes automatic braking all the more relevant.

Avoid a Preventable Collision

Absolute Auto Body recommends any technology that improves road safety. If you’re replacing an older vehicle, we suggest a newer model with automatic braking as standard equipment. Automatic braking or not, come to us for repairs if a collision occurs.

Full Collision Repair and Auto Paint Restoration

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

How to Prevent Auto Collisions with Cyclists

cyclist auto collision

Bicyclists account for roughly 2% of traffic fatalities, according to a 2015 report. While not a huge number, auto collisions with cyclists are on the rise. As drivers, our minds are not trained to watch for moving bicycles. Learn how to minimize an accident with a biker.

Check Before Turning

Most drivers know to scan for pedestrians before making a right turn. Do the same for cyclists because they tend to stay in the bike lane on the right. If making a left turn, you can avoid a collision by scanning for on-coming cyclists who need to cross the intersection. 

Check Blind Spots

Drivers are taught not to rely solely on the rear and side mirrors. You also need to turn your head to see behind you. So many drivers forget this and just quickly check the mirrors before making a turn or lane change. While you might be able to see a car in the mirror, a cyclist could be just out of sight. To avoid a collision with a cyclist, always look over your shoulder.

Don’t Accelerate

Some drivers accelerate when they see a bicyclist in order to pass by quickly. A cyclist in your rear, after all, is less worrisome than one in the front. However, maintain a slow and steady pace in case the cyclist makes a sudden move.

Change Your Outlook of Cyclists

You might find cyclists to be a nuisance. However, keep in mind they are far more vulnerable than you on the road. In a collision, you risk a dent or chip to the auto paint; they risk grave bodily injury. Remember, they have just as much right to be on the road as you.

Collision with Cyclists Is Completely Preventable

Occasionally, drivers come to Absolute Auto Body for minor repairs and other services after a mishap with a bicyclist. A collision with a cyclist is avoidable if you strictly maintain your road awareness.

Dependable Automobile Collision Shop

Locally owned and serving customers since 2005

Can You Remove Rust From Your Car?

remove car rust

Rust is a sign of old age. While this might have some aesthetic charm in some situations, it’s never a good thing on a car. Rust creates mechanical issues and lowers a vehicle’s value. Can you remove rust from your car, or are you doomed to live with the eyesore?

Types of Automotive Rust

Isn’t rust just rust? No, rust actually occurs in these three stages:

  • Surface rust: This is the first stage and manifests in the vehicle’s uppermost layer.
  • Scale rust: This is more serious because it exposes the car’s steel body. Scale rust drastically lowers steel’s tensile strength. This is common in coastal areas with high salt and humidity.
  • Penetrating rust: This is the most severe stage of rust formation in that it erodes steel to the point where holes form. Minor collisions that result in small cracks create enough exposure for penetrating rust to form. This is why we recommend collision repair even for minor panel damage.

Rust Removal

Contrary to what some people believe, you can’t just paint over the area. Our auto paint sector will not paint over blemishes without addressing the underlying issue.

With scale rust, we can use sandpaper or abrasion wheels. This removes the rust and exposes the shiny metal underneath. We can then paint over the area and restore its pristine appearance.

Once penetrating rust sets in, however, no amount of sanding will work. By this point, we need to replace the entire panel. Panel replacement is a complex process that requires additional sanding, primer application, and painting.

We Remove all Rust Types

Do you see visible signs of rust? Bring your vehicle to Absolute Auto Body. Our additional services include rust removal, even if penetrating rust has set in. Removing rust from your car not only restores aesthetics but also restores frame integrity.

Automobile Rust Restoration

Looking out for customers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington

2019 New Year’s Driving Resolution

driving resolutions, New Year’s resolutions

Most New Year’s resolutions are related to health, money, and relationships. However, we recommend New Year’s driving resolution. If you stick to these, you’ll increase safety and minimize the risk of avoidable collisions

1. Stay Focused on Driving

400,000 collisions occur every year due to distracted driving. The number is on the rise due to mobile entertainment. This year, commit your full attention when behind the wheel. This means no talking on the phone, eating, or putting on makeup.

2. Refrain from Speeding

People these days seem to be in a rush to get somewhere. Speeding increases the odds of a collision, and it rarely saves you a significant amount of time. Going 20 MPH over the speed limit in a 10-mile trip only saves you about three minutes. Are three wee minutes worth the risk?

3. Get Acquainted with Car Safety Features

Modern cars these days have all sorts of high-tech safety features. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of these gizmos if you haven’t already done so. You never know when they could come in handy. This includes features that you might not use every day, such as blind spot assist and lane departure warning.

4. Stay in the Right Lane

Vehicles in the left-most lane are more likely to speed. Cars in the right lane are less likely to weave in and out between lanes at precariously high speeds. Keep in mind that staying in the left-most lane indefinitely is also illegal in some jurisdictions.

Commit to New Year’s Driving Resolutions in 2019

Fortunately, most collisions only result in auto paint damage and minimal bodily injury. Regardless of the extent of damage, bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for an assessment. Our gallery showcases our work at the shop. A New Year’s driving resolution minimizes odds of an avoidable fender bender.

Year-Round Auto Collision Repairs

Serving customers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington

How to Identify Vehicle Frame Damage

frame damageMany car owners only bring their vehicle to a collision shop if they see obvious visual signs of damage. We advise a checkup from a technician even if you’ve been in a seemingly minor fender bender. The car may have incurred frame damage even if the surface appears unscathed.

Look out for these signs of non-visual frame damage:

Car Veers in One Direction

After a collision, pay attention to whether the car pulls to one side. If you need to turn the wheel to drive in a straight line, then you have a problem. This is usually an alignment issue but can also be a sign of frame damage.

Car Does the Crab Walk

A damaged frame may result in your car’s doing the “crab walk” while in motion. This occurs when the rear tires go in a different direction than the front tires. To determine if your car is crab walking, drive your car over wet pavement. Examine the tire tracks. If the tracks appear kind of zig-zag instead of straight, then you may have a compromised frame. Continue Reading →

Good Responses for a Road Rage Incident

road rage, road rage responseEverett is a fairly large city with busy highways. Tailgating and cutting drivers off are common occurrences. Most people are level-headed enough to let these infractions go. However, some people may respond with road rage and violence. What should you response be in such a precarious scenario?

Confronted by a Driver With Road Rage?

Most road rage incidents are fairly minor and result in horn honks, yelling, and explicit hand gestures. In this instance, do not engage with the angry driver; don’t even make eye contact. Often, this is enough to diffuse the situation.

What if the driver begins tailgating and following you? If you feel threatened, call 911. Do not pull over and attempt to resolve the issue with the raging driver. Continue to drive even if a minor collision occurs.

If the angry driver persists in following you, look for a police station or even a fire department. If those are unavailable, then pull into a busy parking lot. Remain inside your car until law enforcement arrives. Continue Reading →