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.

A Short History of Auto Glass

In the early days of the automobile, the windshield was considered a luxury item by most car manufacturers and drivers. A windshield was commonly considered an add-on feature that would increase the cost of the automobile. And it was typically little more than a sheet of glass that was divided horizontally so that the driver could fold the glass down when it got too dirty.

The windshield was later more seriously incorporated  into the automobile in the early 20th Century, in the years following the invention of shatter resistant glass by French chemist, Edouard Benedictus. In a fortunate accident in 1904, Benedictus dropped a glass flask filled with dried collodium film. While the flask cracked, it did not completely shatter. His invention would provide the foundation for later developments in auto glass technology, and would later be used for windshield glass by the 1920’s.

By 1915, Oldsmobile was including windshields as a standard feature in all of their vehicles. Additionally, Henry Ford began to recognize the importance of stronger and safer windshield glass. Ford would make it mandatory to put laminated glass in all the vehicles coming off his lines by 1919. In the 1930’s, tempered glass began to replace the glass Benedictus pioneered. Made in a process of repeated heating and cooling, tempered glass was surprisingly strong yet thin. Its ability to break down in accidents made it safer for drivers, reducing the chance of broken glass flying into the face of the driver.

In the 1960’s, it became clear that automobiles needed guidelines and safety standards, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was formed in 1970. The NHTSA now sets the standards of safety for auto glass and windshields, dictating the strength and clarity required for automobiles 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.

Windshield Repair at Home

You don’t need any more things added to your to-do list. That is why we make the windshield repair and replacement process as easy as possible for you by coming to you to perform the service. Our mobile windshield repair service technicians can repair or replace your broken windshield or auto glass in your driveway.

Why is this service so convenient?

You may need to use our services but our location is out of the way for you. But chances are, you’re not out of the way for us! Our mobile service technicians drive as far as 50 miles from our locations. They make repairs and replacements all around this 50 mile radius service area. They can easily meet you at your house to make the repair.

Even in your driveway, we can perform windshield replacements in less than 60 minutes and windshield repairs in less than 30 minutes. While you will still need to wait the one hour Safe Drive Away Time, it is more convenient because your car is already in your driveway, rather than having to wait at one of our shops.

Contact us today for more information about mobile windshield repair services.

Eye Tracking Car Technology Could Improve Safety on the Road

While many new advancements in car technology are focused on fancy dashboard electronics and efficient fuel consumption, many car manufacturers are still focused on improving safety on the road. One cause of motor accidents is drivers falling asleep. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 2.5% of fatal motor accidents are caused by drowsy sleeping alone.

New technology, however, is making leaps towards making this problem obsolete. New eye tracking technology is attempting to solve this problem by notifying driver’s who are falling asleep. An Australian company, Seeing Machines, has developed extraordinary new technology  that uses built-in cameras and infrared lights to keep track of the driver’s eye movements and head angle to determine if the driver is alert and awake. The eye tracking technology boasts 60 frames per second monitoring, meaning it is extremely accurate.

A prototype of the new technology was tested in the Jaguar F-type. Even through a pair of sunglasses, the eye tracking tech performed very well, catching any consistent lack of focus accurately. When the device is triggered, a loud beeping sound goes through the automobile and shakes the driver seat. The same technology is currently being used in the private sector for mining machinery. It will be installed in 4000 new cars coming out this year as well.

 

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.

How to Prevent your Side Mirror from Getting Damaged

Breaking your side mirrors is a silly and rare mistake that drivers might make once or twice in their lifetimes. There are a few basic ways that side mirror damage can happen. Follow these tips to avoid it happening to you:

  • Tuck in your mirrors when going through a car wash. Some older car washes require you to fold in your side windows. If you don’t, they can get damaged.
  • Pulling into a very tight space is a no brainer. Don’t force your way into a parking space if you want to protect your side windows.
  • Parking on a busy street in a city or heavily populated suburban area without closing your side mirrors is a good way to get winged by reckless drivers.
  • Don’t use abrasive cleaners that use ammonia or alcohol when you clean the glass of your windows. Use a microfiber towel that will not scratch the glass.
  • Don’t overuse your power windows. Letting your kids play with the power windows can cause unnecessary wear and tear to the sensitive electronics controlling the power windows.

Breaking your side mirrors is a mistake that can easily be avoided with careful driving.

 

Contact Windshield Centers 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.

4 Safe Driving Tips for the Spring!

It’s finally spring and the flowers are blooming! You’d think now the roads are clear since there’s no ice or snow but think again, spring weather often brings on other hazardous road conditions like flooding, slippery roads and hail. Now that it is spring, there are new challenges when driving from the winter wear and tears, animal activity to just more drivers roaming the roads. Here are some tips to get you cruising into summer safely.

  • Tire pressures: After the winter, potholes and wet roads are a common scene, make sure you have enough air in your car tires so you don’t need to worry about having a flat tire or hydroplaning while driving.
  • Lights: In this season it often brings on rainy weather which prevents accurate visibility on the road. Examine your headlights, taillights, brake lights, parking lights, and of course your back up lights before driving in the spring.
  • Animal Activity: Many animals are coming out of hibernation, migrating, or it is their mating season so be aware when driving. You should especially watch out for animals roaming the roads during the early mornings and evenings since animals have peak activity at these times.
  • Increase in People: Warm weather brings not only animals out but people too. Be more careful to the traffic in residential and school zones since now children, cyclists and motorist are on the road/streets more.

With these simple tips you can enjoy the spring time on the road safely and care free!

Corning Inc may Return to Auto Glass Industry

The glass giant Corning Inc. once took a shot at the windshield industry about 40 years ago. One of the largest demands for high-quality glass comes from the automotive industry, and Corning nearly took a piece of it with their Chemcor project in the 1970’s. However, the automotive industry had little interest in the glass at the time, and Corning moved onto the production of glass for the sciences, optical lenses, and display technology. In fact, Corning now produces the cover for iPhones and many other smartphone brands.

Corning Inc has recently re-engineered and renamed the Chemcor project from the 70’s to a new line called Gorilla Glass. With a need of about 5.5 billion square feet of auto glass needed a year, the potential for Corning is huge. Gorilla Glass is strong and light, exactly what manufacturers need to keep drivers safe while also keeping gas consumption low. Corning has hinted to Wall Street for years that they will venture into auto glass production. This will surely be met with some resistance by competitors but the glass producer has the resources and knowledge to be successful in the auto industry, so expect a good fight.

For more information about Corning’s venture into windshield production, see the StarGazzette article about the move.

How to Protect your Windshield

Over time, every part of the automobile takes on stress and damage. It is just a reality of being on the road and out in the elements. The windshield is no different. The windshield is a key structural component for every automobile. It helps support the roof in rollovers and helps keep the structure of the car intact in front end collisions. But over time, the windshield begins to lose its strength, leading to cracking and chipping that requires replacement or repair. There are, however, a few things you can do to keep your windshield healthy over time:

  • As we have mentioned in our glass cleaning blog, ammonia-based cleaning products are damaging to auto glass. Avoid using these cleaners because they will damage the tint on your auto glass.
  • In the winter, windshields are especially prone to damage. If you get a crack on your windshield during the winter, you should get it fixed right away. In the meantime, however, avoid putting your defrosters on the windshield because the heat can cause the crack to spread quicker.
  • Keep your distance. Avoid tailgating any commercial trucks because they could be carrying something that will let off debris. Construction and gravel trucks are especially dangerous to drive behind.
  • Avoid slamming your car doors. The reverberation from slamming a door can actually slowly damage a windshield, and slamming your door will definitely spread minor damage if done hard enough. Slamming your car door can also cause damage to your power windows and door latch.

Your windshield is a key safety feature to your automobile. Protect it using these tips. For more information about auto glass safety, visit our blog or contact us online.

Four Tips for Cleaning your Auto Glass

With springtime upon us, many drivers will be cleaning their cars to wash away the dirt and grime left over from the winter. If you are washing your car yourself, use these tips to help you properly clean your auto glass.

  • Find an auto glass cleaner. You should avoid glass cleaners that contain ammonia or alcohol because not only are the fumes dangerous, but they can also damage your window tint. Exposure to those chemicals will also damage interior leather or vinyl. Look for a glass cleaner that is safe for tinted windows.
  • Use a glass cleaning towel. Find yourself a high-quality microfiber towel for cleaning your glass. Bad quality towels will only leave streaks on your windows, so you’ll just end up working against yourself. At worst, a bad towel can even scratch your glass.
  • Use long and steady motions when wiping with the microfiber towel. Long back and forth motions ensure that you are completely covering the glass you are working on, and minimizes streaks.
  • Do not clean your windows in the direct sunlight. The sun can dry the water and glass cleaner faster than you can actually clean with it. This causes spots and streaks because you can’t work them out fast enough. Try to clean your windows in the shade if possible.

 

For more information about Windshield Center’s services and hours, call us at 800-900-1505 or contact us online.