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distracted driving car accidentScreens in cars located between the driver and passenger, often referred to as vehicle infotainment systems, are becoming a common feature on most cars. Like many other technology, including cell phones, these are adding to driver distractions and accidents.

The AAA Foundation conducted a study recently that showed while the technology is convenient in some ways, it results in some startling statistics related to distractions while driving.

New law in the Lone Star State

The most commonly talked about distraction while driving is using a cell phone. That’s why legislation was created to address this issue. As of September 2017 in Texas, it is against the law to text message on your phone while driving. This law refers to wireless communication devices but does not address the in-car systems.

Drivers should be focused on the road while operating a vehicle. Law enforcement can also pull over drivers who are reckless or distracted in general.

Greater chance of a collision

AAA studies found if a driver stops focusing on the road for just two seconds, they double the chance of having a wreck.

The most recent study found that when drivers use the in-car technology systems, on average, they had more than 40 seconds of mental and/or visual distraction. About 40 percent of drivers nationwide use these systems. The study compared drivers using 30 different types of systems, including those that allowed web surfing and checking social media sites.

Fogle Collision Centers has been part of the Houston area for many years. We work and live here, and we care about our community. No one wants to experience an accident caused by distracted driving. It is our hope that all drivers in our area drive safe and focus on the road at all times.

A deer munches some grass on the side of the road, near a tree.
Be on the lookout for deer when you’re on the highway.

There are more than one million deer-related accidents a year across the country. Deer are plentiful in the Central to Eastern parts of Texas, and many roads should be driven with caution. Swerving is likely to worsen your odds of an accident. Instead, here are some tips to avoid hitting a deer.

Pay attention

Any time you are driving, it is important to keep your eyes on the road and pay close attention when driving in wooded areas. Here, deer may suddenly come out and run toward cars.

Deer typically roam more often during dusk or dawn, so pay attention if you are driving during these hours. If you are not familiar with the area where you are driving, look for caution signs that alert drivers to deer in the area.

Remember, deer often travel in packs, so if you see one deer there may be more nearby.

Make a bright path

If the roads are not well lit and you do not have oncoming traffic, use high beams to create a brighter path. This will give you a better opportunity to see a deer before you come upon it.

Keep control

If you see a deer, slow down and brake firmly, but don’t swerve. Swerving can cause you to hit another car or lose control.

Also, deer may move if they see or hear you. Honk your horn to try to scare a deer out of your way. Swerving may still make you run into the deer if they start to move out of the way.

If you are about to hit a deer, turn slightly right before you collide to hit the deer at an angle. This way the deer won’t flip up onto your windshield.

Don’t approach an injured deer

If you do get into an accident and the deer is on or near the road, do not approach it. Call law enforcement and the local game warden. An injured deer could potentially injure you, and it’s best to have trained professionals care for an injured deer. If the deer is dead, it is OK to move it off the road, but it is against the law in Texas to take the deer with you.

If you have an accident and need auto body repair, Fogle’s Online Estimating Tool offers fast and free estimates directly from your Smartphone.

 

burst tire

A common fear among drivers is the fear of having a tire blowout while behind the wheel. It can create a sense of panic and losing control, if you are not prepared on how to handle this sudden incident.

Fortunately, tire blowouts are rarer now than they used to be, but can still be dangerous. Here are a few of our tips on how to handle a tire blowout.

Recognizing When a Tire Blowout Occurs

A driver must know the signs of a tire blowout so the driver can react quickly and properly. A tire blowout typically starts with a loud, popping sound followed by a “whoosh” of air leaving the tire. As the tire goes flat, the driver will likely feel the vehicle slow down and pulling the car in the direction of the damaged tire.

Reacting to a Tire Blowout

The most important piece of advice when a blowout occurs is remain calm and do not panic. It can be tempting to become startled by the sudden pop and change in the car’s handling, but quick and unplanned maneuvers, such as an abrupt turn of the wheel or slamming on the brakes, can create a recipe for disaster. Experts recommend holding on to the steering wheel and allow the car to slow down gradually. Once you know you have control, pull your vehicle over and turn on your emergency hazard lights.

Preventing a Blowout Before It Happens

There is a simple step that drivers can take to reduce the odds of a blowout from happening. Make it a habit to check your tire pressure and look at your tires regularly. Underinflated and damaged tires are a leading blowout contributor. Most vehicles made within the last decade feature tire pressure monitors, but a quick inspection of the tire’s condition is helpful.

Remember, if a blowout happens, stay calm and drive through the blowout until you can safely and slowly pull over. Our expert team at Fogle Collision & Automotive in San Antonio is here to help you with towing, wheel alignments, and car collision repair. Give us a call today to have your vehicle checked so you can get back on the road worry-free.

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