3 Tools to Keep in Your Car

When operating a motor vehicle, you never know when problems will arise. One minute you’re cruising along the roadway with not a care in the world, and the next minute you’re wondering how so much could have gone wrong in such a small amount of time. We’ve all been there, and will likely be there again at some point in our lifetime. However, there are some things that can keep the bad times on the side of the road at a minimum. Be sure to always keep your car stocked with these three essential tools, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back later.

 1.) Jumper Cables

Sometimes, car batteries lose their charge. So, keeping jumper cables in your car makes you a handy person, indeed. Dead batteries can present themselves at any given time, and having jumper cables at the ready makes dealing with the process so much smoother. Also, if you’re broken down on the side of the road, it’ll be easier for someone to come to your aid if you have jumper cables. Not only that, but it’ll be easier for you to help someone else too.

2.) Flashlight

A lot of cellphones come with built in flashlights these days. But, there are times when you experience car trouble at night AND your phone is dead. Yes, life can be that cruel. However, if you keep a compact flashlight in your glove compartment, you’ll be able to shine some light on the problem. Whether it be a flat tire or a debit card lost between the seats, a flashlight is essential for nighttime car issues.

3.) Multi-Tool

While it would be amazing to have a tool box handy at all times, the reality of such is not realistic. Therefore, it is much simpler to keep a multi-tool in your car. These tools come fit with pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, knives, and scissors. In short, a multi-tool provides you with several options to get the job done, and provides you with plenty of tools to help tackle plenty of car problems!

Not every tool fits every problematic situation you’ll encounter while operating a motor vehicle. However, these three tools are car staples that any responsible driver should have located within their cars. Find a convenient place to store each within your vehicle, and you just might thank yourself for it when trouble presents itself.

How to Avoid a Vehicle Break-In

If your vehicle has ever been broken into, you know the pit falling feeling in your stomach when you notice your car windows have been smashed in. Your belongings are strewn about the car, and most likely something of value has been stolen. While having to replace your windshield is usually an inconvenience but not too much money out of your pocket, having to replace smashed in window glass can be a different story. Take a look at some of these tips to avoid having to ever deal with an automobile break in.

1.) Choose Parking Wisely

Always choose a well-lit, public spot to park your car whenever you can. While it can be tempting to want to park your car away from others, it also means leaving your car in an area that isn’t as traveled or well-lit. This can present potential problems because thieves won’t be dissuaded from breaking in if they can remain relatively hidden while they sneak away with your things. So, whenever possible, choose a spot where people walking by would be able to notice nefarious behavior.

2.) Keep Valuables Out of Sight

This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many people leave their GPS’, backpacks, expensive sunglasses, and other valuable items in plain sight within their vehicles. While it is likely you have valuables in your car (who doesn’t?), it is in your best interest to keep them hidden. Have places where you store these items that aren’t your front seat. Keeping items of note out of sight will never 100% prevent a break in, but it will certainly make your car a less likely candidate over someone who leaves their possessions out in the open.

3.) Alarms are Your Friend

There is nothing that draws a person’s attention quite like a car alarm. If your alarm currently doesn’t work, you should certainly get it checked out soon. Not only do alarms deter thieves from sticking around to finish stealing your things, but it also alerts others in the area to the general location of said theft. Every time the alarm sounds is another chance for someone to notice that a robbery is taking place.

If you put these three tips into practice, you’ll stand a good chance of not having to deal with the aftermath of a vehicle break in. The most important tip to remember here is keeping valuables out of sight! However, if the worst should happen, look no further than AllStar Windshield for auto glass replacement and repair. We’ll be here to clean up the pieces. Call us at 800-900-1505, or fill out our online contact form.

Safety Tips on Sharing the Road for Bike Riders and Car Drivers

We have all been in a situation, regardless of being in a car or on a bike, where we felt as though there was not enough room on the road. This can lead to frustration for all parties involved, but, fortunately, there are a few ways we can go about making the road a more hospitable place for all commuters. Particularly now, when bicycling has become a major mode of transportation for urban dwellers. From 2000 to 2009, the number of bike commuters grew 70% across the entire country, and that percentage was even higher in more heavily settled areas. This comes as no surprise, as riding a bike has numerous benefits for both your health and the environment. Take a look at our tips for keeping things copacetic on the road, because you might think you’re a good driver, but you could be wrong.

Safety Tips for Bikers

  • Safety gear is a must! Okay this might be an obvious one, but many bike riders seem to forget about utilizing the correct equipment to protect themselves. At the very least, you should be wearing a helmet when you hit the road. Taillights and headlights are also recommended for cycling around sunrise, sunset, and at night. In addition to having lights on your bike, it is recommended one utilize reflective clothing when biking during times of low visibility, especially at night.
  • Obey the rules of the road. It might seem effortless to glide along the streets of a sprawling metropolis, but this does not mean the general rules of the road do not apply to bike riders. While on your bike, always stop at both red lights and stop signs, and be sure to adhere to all traffic signs. Also, a bike is considered a road vehicle just like a car is, so it is smartest to travel along the same traffic patterns as the other vehicles on the road.
  • Stay to the right! While some roadways can truly make this difficult, it is a best practice to stay on the right side of the street you are traveling on. Some streets have designated bike lanes, which makes this tip much easier to follow. However, if there is no bike lane, it is good to leave enough space for cars to pass you while sticking to the right side of the road. Be sure to leave enough space between you and any parked cars on the road too, just in case someone suddenly exits their vehicle.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Be Mindful of the road! This is an easy one, and a tip that applies to a variety of scenarios when operating a motor vehicle. Keep your eyes on the road, and away from your cellphone or other distractions.
  • Treat bike riders the same as cars. Even though bicyclists are not protected by the metal frame of a vehicle, it does not mean they have less of a stake on the roadway. To repeat an earlier point, bicycles are considered road vehicles just like a car, so give them appropriate space and proper right of way.
  • The 3-foot rule. Numerous states have laws in effect stating 3 feet is the minimum distance for passing bicyclists legally and safely. Keep this in mind on tight roadways. If you happen to be on a road free of nearby traffic, you can always give bicyclists more room!

Regardless of if you utilize a car or a bicycle, it is  important to respect other drivers on the road. While operating a motor vehicle, it can be easy to disregard the needs of other drivers, especially those on bicycles. Keep these tips in mind the next time you hit the street, and be sure to always consider the safety of others while traveling the road.

Are You a Safe Driver? 5 Driving Misconceptions Busted

1. “Tailgating will make the vehicle in front of you to go faster.”

False. Not only it won’t make most of the cars go faster, many of them in fact would enter rage mode by consistently hitting the brakes to “educate” the tailgating car. It would also distract the tailgated car driver and lose focus on the road. If you are in a hurry, please do not tailgate, switch to another lane to pass the slow vehicle instead.

2. “Educate Others on How to Drive From Your Own Vehicle.”

Bad Idea! Many would be surprised on the amount of people that try to “educate” the offending car that they feel has wronged them. The “education” would be carried out by either slowing down in front of or blocking the way of the offender. This method would never get any results and instead, a foul mouth or road rage mode starts.

3. “Checking Text Without Responding is Okay.”

This act is considered distracted driving, which is one of the most common causes of accidents. In fact, text messaging makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. If you are travelling at a speed of 55 MPH and you take 5 seconds off the road, you’ve traveled the length of a football field. It would be hard to keep track of what’s ahead of you.

4. “Fatigue Would Not Happen If Well-Rested.”

Not true. It is certainly important to get the 8 hours of sleep required for an adult and get on the road after a good night sleep. However, sleep quality and consistency also contributes whether the sleep is a “good” sleep. In addition to that, a driver should get some rest after driving for a couple of hours since driver fatigue is believed to contribute to more than 30% of road crashes.

5. “Driving in High Heels is Safe”

A study conducted by Confused.com has revealed that 40% of women wear high heels and another 39% wear platform heels, wedges for safe driving. This move actually puts other drivers’ lives at risk.Good drivers placed their heel on the car floor and this makes their feet very easy to change direction and apply force between brake and pedal. With high heels, it is almost impossible to react very quickly in case of any life threatening situations occur. So, ladies, if you are in the driver seat next time, get a spare comfortable flat, rubber soled shoe to not only be safe but also be more comfortable on the road.

The Development of Auto Glass

Modern windshields can be traced back to a fortunate accident made by French chemist Edouard Benedictus, in 1903. One day in his lab, the chemist dropped a flask filled with collodion. He observed that while the flask broke, it did not shatter. Benedictus would later realize he had discovered shatter proof glass. This would lay the groundwork for shatter-proof safety auto glass. Laminated glass would be used for windshields in the 1920s.

In the early 1900s, however, windshields weren’t being used in any automobiles. Windshields were luxury accessories that were typically considered an option for your car. Even though windshields at this time cost more for the driver, they were not very safe or helpful for drivers. They kept dirt and dust out of the driver’s eyes, but they would easily shatter if damaged. This would cause more harm than good if driver and passenger were covered in glass after contact with a projectile.

Over time, auto manufacturers began to realize the necessity for stronger windshields and other forms of auto glass, like side windows and back windshields. Henry Ford began producing his own auto glass at his factories, and eventually utilized laminated auto glass for his windshields. While the laminated windshield solved the problem of glass shattering in the driver’s face, it still was not strong enough to protect against heavy projectiles or offer protection in collisions. Manufacturers invested in the development of safety glass and innovations like using a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between sheets of glass helped strengthen windshields.

Around this time, auto manufacturers also began using tempered glass for side windows and back windshields. Tempered glass helped strengthen the overall structural integrity of the automobile.

Eventually, the NHTSA would make windshields and auto glass a legal requirement for all automobiles. They would also define the standards for windshield mounting, transparency, and strength.

How Does your Windshield Help Keep you Safe?

Your windshield does more than keep dirt and sand out of your face while you drive. Through automotive history, the windshield has developed into a key safety feature of the car that helps keep the cabin intact in motor accidents. The windshield provides important structural integrity to your car. In front-end collisions, your windshield helps the cabin stay intact by absorbing up to 50% of the incoming force.

Additionally, the windshield helps keep driver and passengers inside the car during accidents by not completely breaking. One of the leading causes of fatalities in motor accidents is passengers being ejected from the car. While wearing a seatbelt is the most important thing to do to avoid ejection, the windshield can help prevent fatality by keeping passengers inside the relative safety of the car’s cabin.

In addition, the windshield plays a key role in rollovers by helping to support the roof of the cabin. Another leading cause of fatality in motor accidents is head injury. This can be caused by the cabin being compromised during rollovers when the roof collapses.

In less severe accidents where the windshield might break, it is not only giving the car strength during the accident, but it is helping keep you safe by not shattering into small pieces of glass. Windshields are designed to break in a way that will not shed small pieces of glass like a normal sheet of glass. Instead, the laminate process makes it so it breaks in a controlled fashion.

Finally, the windshield is important for passenger safety because it helps keep the air bag inside the car during accidents. Where the driver’s side air bag usually releases out of the steering wheel, the passenger side air bag bounces off of the windshield as it comes out of the dashboard. The windshield must be strong enough to protect against that force.

The best way to keep your windshield healthy is to be proactive with windshield damage. If you have a crack or chip in your windshield, have it repair or replaced as soon as possible. Contact AllStar Windshield Centers for more information.