Identifying the Common Causes of Single-Vehicle Accidents

single vehicle accident cause, single vehicle collisionWhen we think of auto collisions, we often think of one vehicle colliding with another. However, a sizable portion of road accidents are single-vehicle collisions. They are more commonplace than you might think. Understanding some of the primary causes of crashes involving a single automobile might help you avoid being a participant.

Weather

Winter in the Pacific Northwest includes bouts of thick fog, high winds, flooding, and the occasional dust storm. These factors can reduce visibility or reduce road traction. This can quickly lead to loss of control and a collision with a stationary object.

Road debris

When we think of stationary objects on the road/streets, we think of light or telephone poles. However, foreign objects lying smack in the middle of the road are also staionary. These include fallen trees, animal carcasses, or garbage. These are far more hazardous because you don’t expect to see them. Unexpectedly encountering their presence might force you to make a sudden swerve or lane change.

Wildlife

The Pacific Northwest is home to a diverse wildlife population, including deer, raccoons, bobcats, etc. Keep your eyes peeled when driving through an animal crossing section of road. Collisions with deer alone account for an average 1.5 million single-vehicle accidents every year in the U.S.

Construction Sites

It’s not unusual for single-vehicle collisions to occur around construction sites that close off a portion of the road. The way construction zones are set up can be confusing; it’s not always easy to just follow the orange cones. To avoid a single-vehicle accident, drastically reduce your speed when entering these areas.

We Perform Repairs from Single-Vehicle Collisions

It’s not uncommon for us to receive a vehicle from a collision that did not involve other cars. We can fully restore the vehicle, including its auto paint. See our gallery to view our handiwork. Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body if it was in a single-vehicle accident, no matter how minor or severe.

Single-Vehicle Collision Repair

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

Unibody Repair: A Collision Repair Method for Modern Cars

Absolute Auto Body performs unibody repairs, which is essential for cars manufactured in this decade. We serve Everett and Lynnwood motorists.

Not all auto collision repair shops are equipped or adept at handling unibody repairs. It’s important that repair shops be able to perform this type of vehicle restoration because most cars made in the last decade have a unibody frame. Let’s explore some of the fundamentals about unibody repairs.

What Is a Unibody Car?

Cars either have a unibody frame or a subframe. In a unibody design, the car’s entire frame consists of one single piece. A subframe, by contrasts, consists of multiple removable parts, with most of the components bolted to the car’s upper body.

Unibodies became commonplace beginning in the early 2000s, mainly in 2005 and beyond. They are favored because a unibody construction has more rigidity, making the chassis better able to withstand a collision. Unibodies have been proven to be far more reliable in impacts at speeds exceeding 25 mph.

The Truth About Unibody Repairs

Unibody repairs, though, are more difficult to perform than subframe repair. Unibodies tend to differ drastically between car manufacturers, with each requiring a customized repair process. In most instances, the repair requires the use of a special hydraulic tool to straighten the frame. This is an expensive piece of equipment that not all collision repair centers have.

Subframe repair, by contrast, tends to be a more simple process. The bent part can be cut away and a new part welded in. Welding may also be done as part of the unibody repair process. However, the process is far more involved compared to welding a subframe part. With unibody welding, very precise heat control is required, leaving far less room for error.

We Perform Unibody Repairs

Our collision center is up to date with the latest commercial equipment that meets the repair demands of modern cars. The same goes for our auto painting center. View our gallery to see our craftsmanship. Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for unibody repair done to standard.

Unibody Car Repair

To locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

What to Do if Your Car Catches Fire

car fire

How should you respond if your car catches fire? This is a scenario hardly anyone ever thinks about. While not too common, the U.S. Fire Administration has reported that there were 204,000 responses to automobile-related fires in 2016. What steps should you take if your car suddenly erupts in flames?

What Causes a Car Fire?

Contrary to popular belief, a car collision is not the most common cause of auto fires, though is sometimes a cause. The most typical culprit is a problem within the vehicle itself. This may include faulty electric wiring, a fuel system leak, or a cigarette butt improperly put out.

This is why it’s so important that you recognize the red flags that put you at risk of a car fire.

Issues that Put Car at Risk of Fire

Be on the lookout for the following mechanical issues:

  • Loud noises from the exhaust system
  • Abrupt changes in engine temperature or oil level
  • Loose or broken hoses
  • Fuses blowing out multiple times
  • Loose or frayed wiring

We recommend routine inspections from a qualified auto mechanic to detect and remedy these issues.

How to Respond if Your Car Catches Fire

In the event your car does catch fire while you’re driving, you must act quickly and calmly. First, pull over and turn off the ignition. Next, get everyone safely out of the car and do not return to retrieve personal belongings. Stay at least 100-feet distant to avoid the smoke. Call 911 and await assistance. In the interim, maintain the distance and urge bystanders to stay back.

We Restore Your Car After a Wreck

Cars that go up in flames may still be salvageable. On occasion, Absolute Auto Body has fully restored cars, including its frame and auto paint, after a collision-related fire. Our warranty ensures reliable results. Remember, if your car catches fire, personal safety is your first priority.

Full Frame and Auto Paint Restoration

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

Four Auto Collision Repair Terms Every Car Owner Should Know

collision repair, repair terms

When you bring your car to the shop for collision repairs, the technician may throw around some industry-specific jargon. To avoid confusion, it helps to have at least a basic understanding of what these collision repair terms mean.

1. Exclusion

The exclusion is any part of the repairs that aren’t covered by your insurance provider. An example is the car interior’s upholstery, which insurance may not always cover, unless specific collision-related criteria are met. Other areas that are often excluded include minor dents and superficial damage to the auto paint.

2. Subrogation

Your insurance company may elect to cover additional repair expenses that are not covered under your policy. The term for this is “subrogation.” The insurance provider pays for the expense and later gets reimbursed from the at-fault party. Subrogation may also include medical expenses if the collision resulted in bodily injury.

3. LKQ

This is an acronym that stands for “like, kind, and quality.” This collision repair term refers to the overall condition of parts salvaged from another vehicle. LKQ consists of a series of measurements that determine whether a salvaged part meets the qualifications as a replacement part.

4. R&I and R&R

R&I stands for “repair and install.” R&I occurs when a part is removed and later reinstalled, provided, of course, that the part is still in usable condition. If not, then that is when R&R, or “repair and replace” is the next course of action. As you can probably conclude, R&R entails a replacement part.

Familiarize Yourself with These Collision Repair Terms

We use language that is easy for everyday car owners to understand when discussing repairs, warranties, and other services. Bring or tow your car to Absolute Auto Body if you were recently in a collision. Understanding common collision repair terms makes the process less of a headache.

Speedy and Prompt Collision Repairs

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

Should You Get Collision Coverage for Older Cars?

collision coverage, old car coverage

More motorists are driving older cars that are on the brink of replacement. The reason is simple. An older car is paid off, less likely to be stolen, and can’t depreciate any further than it already has. This naturally leads to the question: should you opt for collision coverage for an older car?

Collision Coverage Explained

First, we want to explain the meaning of collision coverage since most people confuse it with comprehensive coverage. The latter covers damage from instances like vandalism, theft, and acts of nature.

Collision coverage covers scenarios where your vehicle comes into contact with another vehicle or object while in motion. This applies to stationary objects, such as a light pole. The coverage generally kicks in whether or not you caused the collision.

Collision Coverage for Older Cars; Yay or Nay?

At the very least, federal law requires liability coverage. However, does your semi-clunker really need that pricey collision coverage? This really depends. We believe it’s better to forgo it if the premiums are higher than the total value of the car. Instead, put the money that you would spend for the coverage in a savings account. This is your “rainy day” account that you can tap into come time for repair or replacement.

However, you may want to hold onto your collision coverage if you’re on the road a lot. Drivers experience a fender bender on average every 165,000 miles. If driving makes up a huge part of your routine, then it might be worth keeping.

We Perform Affordable Collision Repairs

We perform a multitude of services pertaining to collision repairs, including auto paint touchups. Bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for any collision-related work. We do repairs regardless of our clients’ coverage type. Collision coverage for older cars might be a good decision for your budget.

Trustworthy Collision Repairs

Looking out for customers in Everett and Lynnwood, Washington

Does Your Car Require a Post-Repair Inspection?

post repair inspection, repair inspection

Assuming the car isn’t completely totaled after an accident, your most likely course of action is a collision repair. However, not all collision repair shops are of equal quality. This is why a post-repair inspection is beneficial for assessing the health of your vehicle after your collision damage has been repaired.

What Is a Post-Repair Inspection?

As suggested in its name, a post-repair inspection is an inspection that takes place AFTER repairs are completed at an autobody shop. Maybe you’re wondering why this is necessary.

The purpose is to inspect the quality of the initial repairs and determine whether further repairs are necessary. The inspection is performed by a neutral party, never by an inspector where the original repair was completed.

Diminished Value

Another major purpose of a post-repair inspection is to assess the car’s diminished value. Even after collision repairs, the car’s value may be less than it was prior to the accident. This may be due to the use of inferior aftermarket parts or repairs not being done to manufacturer standards.

Direct Repair Program (DRP)

Some repair shops have a partnership with insurance companies. This is known as DRP (Direct Repair Program). The insurance agency has the claimant bring their car to the specific autobody shop in exchange for lower fees. The lower costs usually result in the use of lower-quality parts and workmanship. As mentioned, this leads to diminished value. For this reason, we especially recommend post-repair inspections if the insurance company insists that you take your car to a certain shop.

We Perform Post-Repair Inspections

You may bring your car to Absolute Auto Body for a post-repair inspection if you had collision repairs done elsewhere. We stand behind our collision repair and auto paint restoration work and back it up with a warranty. Post-repair inspections determine whether repairs were done to standards the first time.

Post-Repair Inspections on All Car Models

Two locations to serve you: Everett and Lynnwood

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