Exploring the Common Causes of Distracted Driving

Front view of woman driving and typing on smart phone

According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, more than 420,000 people were injured in auto collisions in which distracted driving was a factor . 3,328 lost their lives. After the advent of SMS messaging, distracted driving quickly became a leading cause of traffic collisions. Text messaging is the leading cause of distracted driving, but it is only one of many. Other common causes include:

Chatting on the Phone
Texting is the most common cause of distracted driving, but statistics suggest that talking on the phone is not much safer . Even when using a handset, it is easy for drivers to become so engrossed in their conversations that they lose their focus on the road. Engaging in communication with passengers in your car can also cause you to become distracted.

Eating and Drinking
Reaching for a bag of food that you’ve placed in the back or driver’s seat, instinctively reaching for crumbs as they fall and tilting your head back to take a drink are all ways to divert your attention from the road. If you get really hungry or thirsty while you are driving, pull over to tend to your needs.

Personal Grooming
The car is not the place to put on makeup, brush and style your hair, or clean your teeth. Even if you are stopped at a light, it is unwise to engage in these practices for risk of missing the light change and being rear-ended or holding up cars behind you. It is better to be a few minutes late for work than to risk causing a collision.

Reading
Traffic jams are a nuisance, but they do not give drivers an excuse to read or watch videos on their phones. If the use of a navigation system while driving can cause an accident, you don’t have to stretch your imagination too far to understand how reading or watching a video clip behind the wheel can be extremely dangerous.

If your automobile has been damaged in a collision that was caused by distracted driving or any other cause and you live in San Jose or a nearby community, Michael J’s Body Shop is here for you. Collision repair services in San Jose are our specialty, and we pride ourselves on working thoroughly and efficiently. For a free estimate from an experienced automotive repair specialist, call us at (408) 279-2070.

Do Your Brakes Need Service?

Driving a car in the autumn

Our roadways are filled with dips and curves and downhill stretches that instinctively inform us to slow down our vehicles. There is also no shortage of surprises for which we cannot prepare ourselves in advance. In order to be equipped to slow down at a split-second’s notice, it is important that our brakes are always in good working condition. If your car has displayed any of the following signs, it is most likely time for you to take your car to a body shop for brake servicing .

Reduced Responsiveness

Think back to when you first purchased your car or last had its brakes serviced. Did it feel like just a light tap of the brakes was enough to nearly stop your car in its tracks? If you now have to apply considerable pressure to your brakes before they even seem to kick in and slow your car down, then you are definitely due for a visit to the body shop.

Uneven Braking

When you step on your brake pedal, does your car pull to the left or the right in a manner not too dissimilar from how your car would veer if its tires were out of alignment? This is a sign that your brake linings are wearing at an uneven rate and need to be serviced.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

If your brake pedal vibrates when you step on it, it may be because your brake rotors have been warped and need to be replaced. A vibrating brake pedal is not always a sign that your brakes need to be serviced, but it is almost always an indication that something is wrong with your car and that you should have a professional look at it. 

Unusual Noises

Squealing, squeaking, and growling that initiates as if on command when you apply pressure to your brake pedal is generally a sign that something is wrong with your brakes . Help keep yourself and others safe by scheduling a service appointment at your local San Jose body shop.

To promote your safety and that of other drivers and passengers on the road, it is important to have your brakes serviced at the first sign of reduced functionality. If you live in San Jose, Santa Clara, or Sunnyvale, the brake services offered by Michael J’s Body Shop may be of interest to you . To speak with an experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable brake repair specialist, call us at (408) 279-2070.

A Closer Look at Distracted Driving

With all of the attention given to distracted driving over the past few years, most of us know that it is dangerous and irresponsible behavior. What many of us do not realize, however, is just how quickly we can become distracted while driving.

To learn about the science behind distracted driving and discover why you may be distracted even when you think you are not, check out this brief video. A visit to the University of Iowa’s driving simulator makes it clear that even the two seconds it takes to send a short text message or make eye contact with a passenger is long enough to constitute a collision-causing distraction.

Are you a Bay Area resident whose car has been damaged in an auto collision? If so, and you are looking for a collision repair expert to restore it to its pre-collision glory, call Michael J’s Body Shop in San Jose at (408) 279-2070.

A Driver’s Guide to Car Safety Essentials [INFOGRAPHIC]

Most drivers know that checking tire pressure and oil regularly are part of safe vehicle operation. However, do you know that keeping your car stocked with certain precautionary items is also part of staying safe? Things like a flashlight, jumper cables, and a cell phone charger can make the difference between a minor inconvenience and a roadside disaster. One of the most important tools any driver can have is an all-in-on device for cutting seatbelts and breaking windows, called a “Life Hammer.” If you get trapped in your car after an accident or if your car enters water, this tool can be nothing short of lifesaving. This infographic from   Michael J’s Body Shop  in San Jose explains everything you should have in your car. Please help your family and friends stay safe on the road by sharing this information from our auto body shop with them. 

A-Drivers-Guide-to-Car-Safety-Essentials-Infographic

How Often Should You Change Your Brake Pads?

Brake pads

The wearing down of brake pads is generally a gradual process, but it is nonetheless important to pay attention to signs that your brake pads are ready for replacement. Failure to do so will not only make your car unfit for driving and increase the likelihood that you will be involved in a collision. It could also lead you to need expensive and entirely preventable repairs.

While there is no set period of time after which you should change your brake pads and the frequency with you should do so depends on many factors, many drivers find that it is necessary roughly every 20,000 miles. If your brakes have a wear indicator, a squealing sound will warn you that the time to change them is approaching every time you use them. If you don’t have a wear indicator, you will have to pay attention for signs that your brakes are losing their effectiveness and schedule an appointment at the body shop to get a professional’s opinion.

Have your brakes been squealing or growling at you? To have them replaced by a Bay Area auto expert who also offers full-service collision repairs , call Michael J’s Body Shop at (408) 279-2070.