Author Archives: Greenwood Seattle Auto Body Shop

Auto Body Shop Seattle: Is There A Perfect Car Collision?

Making Car Crashes Look Better

Experts say that, in the event of a car collision, the more deformed a car’s front end and bumper are, the better are the chances of people inside escaping unscathed. It only means that the front end components of your car absorbed all the impact of the collision, protecting you and your passengers inside. Did you know that the automotive industry have since been working – designing, manufacturing, analyzing, and testing – to make collisions look better in order to shield passengers from harm?

A team of researchers from SIMLab of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, financed by the Research Council of Norway, are designing aluminium, steel and plastic structures that can withstand high-energy collisions.

They say they don’t know much about cars, but are experts on materials, aluminum and its properties especially. Hence, Audi, Toyota, BMW, Honda and Renault are working closely with them. SIMLab partners with the automotive industry that heavily depends on computers, making accurate models of materials used in cars and how they behave under stress.

SIMLab has tested all sorts of materials for cars. They’ve designed bumpers, bolts in guard rails, among other car parts, using materials they know behave in a certain way when stressed. They also determine the best shape if the material is different because it is the shape that responds in the right way when compressed. Similar shapes made of different materials may have different properties.

The lab also tests their designs in simulation compressions, from slow and calculated to that of a collision at different speeds. They understand the physics of crash science, making versatile models that the auto industry can use, and testing them in the lab before public release.

Their research efforts are invaluable to automotive innovation. That is why they partner with related industries to get as much from different fields of expertise. However, with new funding, SIMLab is branching out into the oil and gas industry, and looking at how they can help in terrorism prevention.

Rebuilding Your Car in Seattle

We are your collision repair experts in Seattle, rebuilding your car with precision and aesthetics restored. We’ve had over 10 years of painting and restoration experience in the city and loads of satisfied customers.

Yellow Taxis: Less Prone To Accidents

Riding Yellow Is Riding Safer

Out of the National University of Singapore comes a new study that established a link between a taxi’s color and its accident rate. The study is saying that the higher the visibility of a vehicle’s color (as in this case, yellow taxis), the less likely it is to get into an accident.

An analysis of two fleets of taxis in Singapore, one yellow, the other blue, ran 36 months where taxi, driver and accident data were studied. It suggests that yellow taxis have fewer accidents than blue ones. Due to the high visibility of yellow cabs they have a lower accident rate.

The research team analysed available data from Singapore’s largest taxi company, which involved millions of observations on the company’s drivers and taxis, and accidents involving these taxis. From 4,175 yellow taxis and 12,525 blue taxis, it was found that yellow taxis have about 6.1 fewer accidents per 1,000 taxis per month. This translates to the physical risk to the passenger calculated over the course of a 40 year period that a passenger will experience 1.1 accidents in a blue taxi, compared to 1 accident in a yellow taxi. That’s a 9 per cent reduction in accident rate.

This can also translate to cost savings for the taxi operator. If the Singapore taxi company would agree to switch all his blue taxis to yellow (that’s at a current ratio of 1 yellow to 3 blues), with an an average repair cost of S$1,000 per cab and a downtime of six days, the company would have 76.6 fewer accidents per month or 917 fewer accidents per year. It’s an annual savings of S$2.0 million for the operator.

The findings of the study also suggest that colour visibility should play a major role in determining the colours used for public transport vehicles. The results are also useful to smaller taxi companies and to drivers who use their private vehicles as taxis to work for private-hire car services. The use of yellow in other types of public transport, such as school buses, can make these vehicles a safer ride for its target passengers, like children in this case.

The findings of the study were published in scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Help For Any Color Vehicle in Seattle

While your auto body shop in Seattle get to see a variety of vehicle collisions involving cars and taxis of varying colors, it may be safe to say that vehicles of high visibility color do have less accident rates. Bring in any repair job of any color into our shop and get topnotch service, from one of Seattle’s best.

Auto Body Shop Seattle: Cars Seats Safe For Kids

Keeping Your Child Safe in The Car

Did you know that car seats saved the lives of an estimated 9,600 children age four and younger between 1975 and 2010? When three out of every four car seats are not used correctly, this can lead to a serious issue of child neglect borne out of ignorance of car safety. One must read instructions carefully.

For your kid’s car seat safety, what should you look for? Apart from automatic door locks, push-down, pull-up window switches, advanced frontal air bags, and side impact air bags among others, car seats are essential add-ons to make a safe car safer for children. There are several options in the market.

The Rear-facing Car Seat is best for kids under the age of one (like newborns and small babies), using them until they reach the top height or weight limits stated by the manufacturer. In a crash, a rear-facing car seat cradles and moves with the child. This helps reduce stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. This seat is available in 3 types: Infant-Only Seat, small and portable; Convertible Seat, which can convert to forward-facing with a harness as the child grows; and the All-in-One Seat which can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one, to a booster seat as a child grows.

The Forward-facing Car Seat are used by kids who have reached the top height or weight limits stated by the manufacturer of rear-facing seats. During a crash, the harness contacts the child at the strongest parts of the body to distribute the crash forces and to keep the child in the seat. The tether limits the child’s forward head movement. This seat is available in 4 different types.

A Booster Seat is used by kids after they have reached the same limits indicated by manufacturers of the forward-facing seats. This seat is placed in the back seat. It positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the strongest parts of a child’s body. This can help reduce injury during a crash. Available in 4 types, one is the Booster Seat with Back, designed to boost the child’s height so the seat belt fits properly. It also provides neck and head support and is ideal for vehicles that don’t have head rests or high seat backs.

Then there’s the built-in Seat Belt. It is used by kids who are tall enough to sit in the seat without slouching; can keep their back against the vehicle seat; keep their knees naturally bent over the edge of the seat; and can keep their feet flat on the vehicle floor. Placed over the strongest parts of the body, the seat belt restrains a grown child or adult in the event of a crash.

Kid Safety Features In Your Car

If you’re having a car repair at Greenwood auto shop in Seattle, ask us about kid safety features. We can help you as to which type of restraint system is best for your child and how to install it properly.

An Accident Waiting to Happen

Following A Friend Can Be Following Disaster

You might have found yourself in a situation driving your own car and keeping pace with another car right in front of you. You got yourself in a sort of caravan agreement because you don’t know exactly the way you’re headed. Hate getting lost, too? Did you know that it’s an unsafe driving behavior? There’s a court case involving a driver who got seriously hurt in an accident following another car in a similar situation.

A recent study came out of the University of Arizona, inspired by the court case, to show evidence that this risky behavior can result in accidents. There’s scientific proof to show that drivers who follow another car to a destination are more likely to drive dangerously. Those who initiated the study thought many people have the intuition that the behavior can be dangerous, yet there exist no research to back it.

So the team of researchers decided to test this intuition by recruiting students who have valid driver’s licenses to participate in a driving simulation. First, they were asked to drive around a simulated city just to get a picture of their basic driving behavior. Then, this was compared to how they drove when guided by a navigation system. Next, they did the ‘follow a friend in the car in front’ test. All tests assessed general speed, distance to the car in front and the time it took to move lanes. Hazards were used to see if driving behaviour changed under different driving scenarios.

Here are the results. Those ‘following a friend’ drove faster and more erratically, closer to the car in front and made quicker lane changes. Also, the drivers were more likely to cut in front of a pedestrian crossing a road and speed through traffic lights turning red.

It was observed that the leading cars are not breaking any laws, but those following behind were not just copying risky behavior from risky drivers, but were influenced by the traffic around them. Drivers often feel a social pressure to keep pace with other traffic and run traffic lights when other vehicles do the same. By using a computerized driving simulation, the study was able to eliminate the contagious effect, where driver behaviour can be influenced by the traffic around them.

The researchers concluded the test with some useful advice. It is a lot better and safer to know the address of the destination, or use a map or a navigation device to get to the destination without incident.

Arriving Safe and Sound in Seattle

Yes, it is far safer to know the way yourself rather than following behind someone else’s car. Avoid accidents and near-accidents waiting to happen if you can. Greenwood Auto Shop is at your service in Seattle when such things happen.

Distracted and Driving? A Dangerous Mix

The Distracted Driving Law: Putting an End to Distraction

Did you know that overspeeding is only the second most common cause of car accidents on US roads? Beating it is the growing threat of decades-old distracted driving. Using mobile phones while behind the wheel contributed, by no small means, to the myriad of distractions already in practice by millions of driving Americans.

With the hand-held devices, drivers make calls, text , or surf their phones at the same time as they mind the road, steer the wheel, change gear, peer at their rear view, and for good measure, chat with their seat mate. As luck would have it, stepping on the brakes in time might not just save the day. Crashes, collisions and casualties mount. Eating, drinking, reading, grooming and other forms contribute as well.

Distracted driving, hence, becomes a huge concern that lawmakers moved to put a stop to this reckless behavior. Senate Bill 5289, also called the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act, has just been passed in April 2017 and proposed to take effect January 2018 in Washington.

It forbids use of a handheld device, and all video watching, while a car is either moving or briefly stopped. The standard traffic fine of $136 would increase to about $245 on the second offense. The bill was accompanied by many painful testimonies of victims’ families. There were 171 fatalities in 2015 in Washington state alone.

The bill is not without its hitches. It still requires the signature of Gov. Jay Inslee which will push the effectivity date to January 2019. Member opponents to its passing are asking for more time for public adjustment, asking also that reporting to insurance companies should only apply on the second offense, not the first.

Extra time will also allow for a sustained education campaign, have car owners install built-in communication systems, and beef up the State Patrol numbers which are presently low.

A current law is in place that bans texting and cellphone chatting at the ear, but leaves legal other forms of phone use – social media and streaming video. The new law will allow motorists the “minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device,” such as to launch a navigation app while a smartphone is mounted in a dashboard cradle.

An extra fine of $30 will be charged for other forms of distraction. Opponents say that the new law only opens to more government intrusion and punishing technology instead of the driver. Nonetheless, proponents are willing to wait. Good things take time.

All for the New Law in Seattle

Greenwood Auto Body Shop is all set for changes in 2018 or the next. Road laws are in place for the general good. Our shop is nonetheless ready for mishaps while we encourage road safety all the time.

Original Article

Going on a Trip? Prepare Your Car for the Summer

Tips for a Summer-Ready Road Trip

If your entire family is planning on an outing, say a cross-country road trip this summer, the vehicle you’re taking along ought to be in top-performance mode. This should spare you some troubles while you’re far from home. Something like, nothing is going to spoil your vacation. Inspect your all-important fluids – oil, coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and washer fluid. And certainly, your gas. Look for signs of leaks and have them fixed if you see any.

Check your belts and hoses. A snapped timing belt can quickly mean the end of your journey! Look for frays, cracks, and loose and missing fittings. Your hose should be checked for hard zones, mushy areas, apart from other damage. It should be firm, not stiff.

Have you inspected your air filters? Maybe it’s time for a new one if you haven’t looked at it in a year. Your filters can suffocate fast especially if you are expecting to travel very dusty or rocky roads.

The battery. Is it close to the end of its lifespan already? If so, a replacement will best reassure you. Inspect for signs of corrosion, which speeds up especially in summer months rather than in cold weather. Check its charge. Are the terminals clean, secure and firm? Your battery check also includes looking at your lights and engine sound and performance when you switch on.

Just before heading out, give your battery another final check. Where lights are concerned, inspect if all bulbs are functioning well and firm in their sockets. Replace those that need new bulbs. Each of those have a purpose, especially crucial for night travel.

This is not a time to have a brake problem. So check them thoroughly. Listen for grinding, growling or a shrill squeak. Feel for a vibration or pull when you apply the brakes. Does the pedal sink all the way down to the floor? If you suspect something amiss or you do not feel right about your brakes, have them looked into.

Caring For Your Car in Seattle

Needless to say, your tires should be in good running condition. Check for uneven wear, embedded objects, any visible damage. Which tire doesn’t keep its proper pressure? And is your emergency tire still usable? For your family’s safety, tires should be in top condition before you go. Also, check for unusual sounds and odors coming from your AC. And finally, have those emergency items ready, check the list – from first aid kit to portable jump starters.

Summertime is the best time to have your car looked over at Greenwood Collision your, auto body shop in Seattle. See us and let’s talk safety in summer.

How Much Can an Accident Devalue Your Car?

What to Know if Your are Trading-in Your Damaged Car

According to an ABC News article, vehicles lost an average 33 percent of their value after an accident. If you’re in the market for a car trade-in yet have just gotten out of an unfortunate road incident, get to know a few things before you see a dealer.

Remember firstly that you will likely get the deal you’re envisioning if there had not been an accident. A vehicle’s value drops permanently if it sustained damage in an accident, even if the vehicle in question is still in very good condition.

Know that auto dealerships are keen on vehicle history reports. These reports will include accidents, insurance claims and everything about a vehicle’s past life. The reports can ascertain fair market value, the price adjusted accordingly.

Significant damage to your car can affect your trade-in value proportionately. If the damage – dents, misalignment, paint work, etc – is obvious, the more difficult it is for the dealer to resell it. Some cars have to be rebuilt entirely, in which case it will be labelled ‘totaled’ by the insurance company and that will earn it a ‘salvage title.’

Even after repairs or improvements, it is going to be still be unattractive to buyers or dealers. Who knows what issues with structure will crop up later.

Another factor to consider is the quality of repairs. If the vehicle went through high-quality repair and restoration, using top materials, paint job, or good refurbishing and accessories while looking as good as the original version, then dealers will not so much depreciate its value.

Finally, the age and model of your vehicle are also price determinants for trade-ins. You can expect a certain degree of depreciation even for newer models that had been damaged, much so if your vehicle is older. Some models or brands may be popular and sought-after, in which case dealers will have an easier time selling your trade-in, even if it has been damaged.

Hence, should you own a old model and make of a car that has been in an accident and was damaged, you may have to expect a much lower trade-in or buying price.

Damaged Cars Like New Again in Seattle

Repair and restoration services are our specialty at Greenwood Collision auto body shop in Seattle. Trust your car to experts and experienced specialists for a transformation job you will surely be happy about.

Does Size Matter in a Car Crash?

Small Cars versus Big Cars: The Safety Factors

Small cars are everywhere on American roads these days and that’s because more people are after fuel-efficient vehicles, with fluctuating oil prices around. Many options are sporty versions, they are easier to maneuver, more agile, and of course, compact cars are easier to park. But are they safe? What are your chances of getting out scott-free in cases of accidents, like collisions?

Well, actually driving or riding bigger vehicles do make you feel a lot safer. However, size does not really count that much. While mass is a factor for bigger cars, meaning there is more room between the collision point and the occupants, smaller cars today are built with many safeguards, no longer what they used to be decades ago. Vehicles today have crash standards.

Large vehicles are mandated to keep their impact point at a relatable height to a small car. Both large and small cars have safety features. Today, the small car will not always be the underdog, or that the favor will not always be on the side of the bigger vehicle.

One other factor is vehicle design. Automotive design today is not only to reduce injury, but also to avoid collisions. Cars have crumple zones that absorb the energy even before it reaches the occupants, causing less trauma and injury. The frame rails, hood, suspension, firewall, and windshield provide structural integrity, collapsing in a controlled manner to absorb energy and reduce the effects interiorly. So, the gap now between the safety of a large vehicle and a small one is a lot narrower.

In the same vein, the quality of materials used now is another factor. Lightweight cars are engineered to be rigid and strong. Materials are high-strength with structural integrity, with bracing allowing for crumple zones to be incorporated into the components for protection in an impact.

Safety systems are another factor. Anti-lock brakes, traction control, airbags, and seatbelts are standard, regulated and enforced decreasing significantly the incidence of severe injuries and fatalities.

Smaller cars being easier to control is another factor. They are more nimble; with their sporty suspension and better traction, less mass and quicker response to inertia, they can easily avoid collision. So we can say now that smaller cars today can give the bigger versions a good run for their money.

Welcoming All Makes of Cars in Seattle

Your auto body shop in Seattle believes that safety is primarily in the driver’s hands. But should you find yourself in a road accident nearby, be assured we can respond with our service, be your car big or small.

Storing Your Car for Extended Periods

Going on a vacation?

There comes a time when you need to put your car away for an extended period of time. Maybe you’re going out of town for a while, or maybe your vehicle has suffered damage that renders it undrivable.

Until such a time as you can get your car down to our auto body shop in Seattle, take the following precautions to preserve your inert vehicle:

  • Wash and wax your finish.
  • Fill your tank. The less surface area that is available inside your tank, the less condensation will be gathering. This prevents rust and break-down.
  • Put a 4-mil polyethylene drop cloth on the floor of your garage to act as a vapor barrier.
  • Don’t apply your parking brake if you don’t need to. This will prevent unnecessary corrosion.
  • Use jack stands to take the vehicle’s weight off of your wheels. This will help your tires last for a longer time.
  • Disconnect your car battery and put it on a trickle-type charger. This will keep it from draining while in storage.
  • Plug your tailpipe with a rag. This will keep moisture out, guarding your car against rust.

The Advantages of Car Mats

When people think about car maintenance, they usually think about the engine, the body, and other structures that they need to have serviced by the professionals at our auto body shop in Seattle. Unfortunately, this means that they frequently neglect the care of simple things, like the car’s interior. This is why it is a good idea to invest in a proper set of car mats.

A car mat serves to protect the floor of your vehicle from all of the dirt and mud you track in, the food and drinks you spill, and more. They are particularly important in regions that get a lot of rain or snowfall, as the water you track in can foster the growth of harmful microorganisms in your carpeting.

A good car mat takes a lot of the work out of cleaning your interior, which goes a long way towards creating a sanitary and odor-free environment.

Consider getting a set of tailored car mats for your vehicle today.