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.

Specialty Vehicles Serviced by Windshield Centers

Your windshield is one of the most important safety features in your vehicle. For the average automobile, an unharmed windshield is important for maintaining the structural integrity of the vehicle. Similarly, all pieces of auto glass in your car are important for a sound structural design, and are key security features.

However, windshields and auto glass are important for more than just cars. At Windshield Centers, we service several kinds of specialty vehicles, because all of these vehicles are vulnerable to auto glass damage.

We service tractor trailers with auto glass repair and replacement. While tractor trailers use strong, high-quality windshields, they are also out on the road more than almost any other kind of vehicle. This makes tractor trailers vulnerable to random, and almost inevitable, windshield damage. Our certified technicians have the experience and equipment to service semi-truck auto glass.

Windshield Centers also services glass for mobile homes. While some mobile homes don’t spend too much time on the road, those that travel with their mobile homes tend to take long trips, which makes them vulnerable to windshield and glass damage. Also, mobile homes not on the move are still vulnerable to vandalism, one of the leading causes of all auto glass damage.

We also do repairs and replacements for buses. Buses have that distinction of having a lot of windows. Contact Windshield Centers for bus glass repair or replacement.

Contact Windshield Centers today at (800) 900-1505 to find out if we can service your specialty vehicle.

The Future of the Car Dashboard

Car manufacturers and smart phone manufacturers are working together to make dashboards more powerful than ever, as reported by the New York Times this week.

For the past several years, Google and Apple have been developing their respective dashboard technologies, Android Auto and CarPlay. Both systems will have the ability to understand voice commands from the driver, like current blue-tooth systems. However, these dashboard systems would enable users to bring up their  Apple or Android software with essentially the same settings and information as their phones.

Both Google and Apple’s systems would enable drivers to plug their phone into a USB cord, which would bring their phone’s interface up on their dashboard screen. And the phone? That would go blank once the connection is made. Once you are plugged in, your dashboard is now your phone, with the option to make calls and send texts with voice commands. Both companies believe that these innovations will improve driver safety. For most actions, you will only need to use your voice along with occasional, brief glances at the dashboard. Certain apps, like video streaming apps, will be disabled.

Automotive technology is constantly evolving. At Windshield Centers, we stay ahead of the curve on all of the upcoming advancements in automotive technology and safety innovations.

Windshield Repair Services

The Importance of Repairing Minor Windshield Damage

Minor windshield damage is common and unavoidable. Small chips in your windshield can come from rocks being kicked up by other cars, heavy weather, or vandalism. No matter how you get the damage, it can be easy to put the problem on the backburner. If it’s a small crack, you might tell yourself that its not a big deal, and can wait. But even the smallest crack can turn into a big problem.

In the winter time, a great amount of stress is placed on auto glass. Cold weather puts stress on the windshield, which can cause the glass to warp, and the damage to spread. Snow, freezing rain, and hail all have the potential to make the damage even worse.

There are many benefits to getting your windshield repaired before the damage gets out of hand. Our windshield repair process is exceedingly fast; we can have you back on the road in as little as 20 minutes. Our repair services are also more affordable, with many insurance providers completely covering the cost of the service. Additionally, even minor cracks can make the windshield structurally weak, decreasing the chance of the windshield holding up in accidents.

Don’t put off repairing you windshield any longer. Book an appointment today or call us at 800-900-1505.