Deer Safety 101

Deer Safety 101 | Driving Tips to Stay Safe

Imagine you're driving down a windy road, the sun is going down and there's not a car in sight. Your mind starts to wander as you think about dinner and the game you have recording when all of the sudden a deer runs in front of your car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1.6 million vehicle crashes involving deer occur each year in the U.S. These accidents peak between October and January when deer are breeding and most active. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind as deer season gets into full swing:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings— Your chances of encountering a deer are greatly increased when driving through heavily wooded areas or rural areas. If you see a deer crossing sign, be on the lookout. These signs are usually posted in areas where there have been a lot of deer-related incidents.
  2. Look out for the pack— Deer are pack animals, so chances are that if you see one cross the road, several others will follow. Slow down or stop if you see a deer crossing and wait until the last of the pack has run by. Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you, in case you need to brake suddenly.
  3. Check the clock— Deer are most active around dusk and dawn. Visibility is low at these times, so use your high-beam headlights when possible.
  4. Make sure your car is in good shape—Having brakes and tires that are in good shape will greatly increase your ability to stop suddenly.
  5. Have an accident plan— If you do hit a deer, know what to do. Check to see if anyone is injured and call the local police and/or medical services. Don't attempt to touch or move the deer. Inform your insurance company of any damages to your car.

Deer antlers look much better on your wall than they do coming through your windshield, so drive safe! If you have any questions or would like to have your brakes and tires inspected, feel free to give us a call or visit our website.

Decoding Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

VIN | Driving Tips to Stay Safe

Have you ever noticed a mysterious set of numbers at the base of your car's windshield? That number, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), is like your car's Social Security Number and will tell you more about your vehicle than you probably wanted to know. It's used to register your car, buy insurance, order parts for your car, or to identify it in the event that it's stolen. But how do you uncover the secrets that these 17 numbers and letters hold? Here's a simple way to decode your vehicle's VIN.

  1. Digits 1 – 3 (Make/Model): These digits break down the vehicle's make (1st digit), model (2nd digit), and manufacturer (3rd digit).
  2. Digits 4-8 (Vehicle Features): These digits detail the features of your car, like driveline options, body type, engine code, etc…
  3. Digit 9 (Verifying #): This number is used to verify that the VIN itself is valid and not a fake.
  4. Digit 10 (Model Year): This number represents the year the vehicle was made, not to be confused with the year it was sold or delivered.
  5. Digit 11 (Assembly Plant): Identifies where the car was built
  6. Digits 12 – 17 (Sequence of Model Production): These digits comprise the serial number and indicate the order in which the vehicle left the assembly line.

Knowing how to decode a vehicle's VIN will come in handy when buying, selling, or owning a car. Here are a couple articles for more information about this complex number:

http://www.edmunds.com/driving-tips/making-sense-of-your-vin.html
http://www.driverside.com/auto-library/the_vin_number-60

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or visit our website. We're happy to help!