How to Safely Share the Road with Motorcycles

The month of May is known for many things: the first signs of summer, barbeques, campfires. It is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, drivers should expect to see more motorcycles on the road. Windshield Center has some tips on how to safely navigate sharing the road with the bikes.

Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road, which alter their appearance in side and rearview mirrors. They can appear to be driving faster from further away, giving drivers in cars a false sense of the road. Drivers should be more aware of their blind spots, especially when switching lanes or turning. Nearly half of the fatal car vs. motorcycle accidents in 2013 occurred when the car was attempting to make a left-hand turn and the motorcycle was continuing to go straight. Part of the reason for this is because many motorcycles do not come equipped with self-canceling signals, so the signal is often left going for longer than necessary. You should make sure you make eye contact with upcoming cyclists before proceeding with your turn at any intersection.

It is also important to note that motorcycles handle differently than cars. Because they are more lightweight than a car, motorcycle control is more likely to be affected by wind and weather conditions, such as rain or debris blowing in the street. While all drivers should note the weather and change their driving habits accordingly, you should take extra note of motorcycles and give them extra room as a safety precaution for them and for yourself. Your car will take longer to stop, and will require more force. Keep cycles and other drivers in front of you safe by following the four second rule: pick a landmark ahead, like a mailbox, and count. If you reach the landmark before you reach the number four, slow down. If you are passing a motorcycle on the road, make sure you are several car lengths ahead before getting back into your lane.

Whether you’re on the road in a car or riding a motorcycle, make sure to drive safely this summer! If you run into problems with your windshield, side windows or mirrors, contact Windshield Center at (800) 900-1505.

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

Halloween is right around the corner! Trick-or-treating is an exciting and fun activity for kids but with everyone running around the streets at night, Halloween can also be one of the most dangerous days for pedestrians all year. However, with safe driving practices, Halloween can be both safe and fun. Follow these driving tips to help keep everyone safe this Halloween:

  • Drive slowly in residential areas and keep any distractions like your phone out of sight.
  • Don’t expect trick-or-treaters to wait for you to pass. Always yield to pedestrians.
  • Turn on your headlights earlier than usual. Even if sunset is still a couple hours away you should flip on your headlights to make yourself more visible.
  • Be careful when passing cars parked on the side of the street. If you are in a neighborhood they are likely dropping off kids to trick-or-treat.
  • Be vigilant about using your turn signals. Many people forgo using their blinker when they’re pulling into their own driveway, but on Halloween you should be using it for every single turn.

Driving Safe in the Winter

Winter is the most dangerous season for driving in western New York. Accidents happen more frequently than usual because of icy roads, snow banks limiting driver’s vision, and because of the tough, cold conditions for your car. Follow these tips to keep safe on the road this winter:

  • Keep your gas tank at least half full at all times. That way, if you break down you will have a source of heat. You can run your engine at idle for hours while you wait for service.
  • Wear your sunglasses when driving. Yes, we all think of summer when we think of sunglasses, but they are actually very important for driving in the winter because of snow blindness. Snow creates a lot of glare, so sunglasses can help you stay safe on the road.
  • Keep your windshield wiper fluid reservoir full.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slower than normal. It takes longer to come to a complete stop in icy conditions. Slow down significantly before you take turns. Everything takes longer and is more dangerous in the winter.
  • If possible, when approaching stop signs and turns, don’t come to a complete stop . Try to keep your wheels turning when driving in the snow. It takes a lot more to get going in the snow or ice, so if you can keep up your momentum, you will not get stuck or slip out when starting up again.

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop in Rochester and Buffalo, NY.

Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

Five Tips for Staying Safe on the Road this Fall

Every season presents its own unique challenges for driving safely. For fall drivers, some of the challenges faced on the road include slick streets covered with wet leaves, an influx of new drivers as school starts, thick morning fog, sun glare, and increased traffic from woodland animals.

Wet and slippery conditions are one of the most distinct dangers about the fall season. While the spring is also known as the rainy season, the fall is also very wet in general. This is made extra dangerous by the fact that fallen leaves on the road are also very slippery. This can significantly increase the amount of time it takes to come to a stop while driving, and lead to skidding on the road.

The fall also means back to school time for many parents and teenagers. Not only will there be more buses and parents driving their kids to school in the morning, but there will also be many more teenage drivers on the road. This surge in morning traffic can cause frustration for many drivers, as their morning routine is suddenly disrupted. Be sure to give yourself more time in the morning before hitting the road.

Another reason to drive extra careful in the morning is fog. Cold fall mornings can be one of the worst times for fog. Use your fog lights; don’t use high beams because it will create glare, which makes it even more difficult to see.

Fall is one of the most common seasons for animal travel because of the mating season. Deer crossings are common in the fall. Heed the warnings of crossing signs. If you see one deer cross, wait for other to cross because they usually travel together.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Buffalo & Rochester, NY areas. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

 

Safety tips for driving in the summer

Summer driving is different from other seasons mainly because the intense heat can be hard on your vehicle and because the roads are so busy with pedestrians.

Tire blowouts are a common symptom of the heavy summer heat. The heat causes the air in your tires to expand, causing blowouts in old, poorly maintained tires. Check your tires early and often to avoid a blowout.

Your car’s cooling system works the hardest during the summer months. The radiator, belts, hoses, water pump, cooling fans, and heater core are all going to need  to be in top shape in order to handle the heat. Get your cooling system checked out during the summer to avoid your car overheating.

The summer sees a lot more drivers on the road than in other seasons because of summer traveling. Additionally, there are many bicycles and motorcycles sharing the road with you. Remember to look twice and you could save a life.

There are many more pedestrians on the road during the summer enjoying the nice weather. Not only is there more foot traffic in general, but there are also more children and teenagers outside because of the summer vacation. Drive cautiously in residential areas where there are children likely to be playing outside.

Additionally, road construction is extremely common throughout the summer. Construction zones are a common sight, and you should be extra cautious going around the sites because of the high level of accidents in these areas.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Buffalo & Rochester, NY areas. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.

The Dangers of Texting while Driving

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do on the road. According to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis Study, texting while driving causes 330,000 injuries every year. In 2011 alone, cell phone use was the cause of 1.3 million accidents. The NHTSA has estimated that texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to get in an accident than when driving normally.

When you are texting and driving, it is estimated that the minimal amount of time you must take your eyes off the road is 5 seconds. If you are driving at 55 MPH, you are taking your eyes off the road while your travel the length of a football field. Young drivers that text and drive spend approximately 10% of their driving time outside of their lane. While teenagers are typically the demographic most commonly associated  with texting and driving, people of all ages practice distracted driving. Approximately 27% of teenagers claim to have seen their parents texting and driving as well.

Texting and driving is the leading cause of death for teen drivers. While 14 states have made handheld cellphone use while driving illegal, it is still an issue and everyone should do their part by keeping their eyes on the road.

 

Windshield Centers is a leading auto glass repair shop located in the greater Buffalo & Rochester, NY areas. Contact us online or at (800) 900-1505 to schedule windshield repair or replacement services today.