The Most Common Causes of Auto Collisions

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During the Summer more people are on the road.  Traffic is heavier and we travel greater distances.  All of this extra time on the roads increases our chances of being involved in a collision.  Statistics show young drivers are more likely to have a collision but it doesn’t make the rest of us immune.  We share the roads with drivers young and old and we can all be affected by the mistakes of others.  ICC Collison Centers wants all of us to come back alive so here are some of the common causes of collisions.

Being distracted while driving

Cell phones, texting while driving, eating and passengers are all common distractions.  While some can be totally eliminated (texting, cell phone and food) others cannot, such as passengers.  If you have small children you know it is impossible to not be distracted at least a tiny bit.  Crying, temper tantrums or fighting amongst siblings is not something you can just ignore at will.  Sometimes the best you can do is pull into a safe location, address the situation and then resume your drive.  Cell phones, texting and eating while driving is easily avoided and there is never an excuse to do them while driving.  Remember it is not just you on the roads and if you have a collision chances are you will involve at least one other vehicle.

Taking risks

Ignoring traffic signals or speed zones, changing lanes without using signals or checking blind spots all are considered “risky behavior”.  The difference in risky behavior and distracted driving is choice.  You make a choice to drive in an unsafe manner whereas distracted driving is often the result of ignorance.

Speeding

Most of us speed occasionally but teens do so at a much higher rate.  Teens don’t have a good sense of how a cars speed can affect their response time.   On average teens drive faster than all other drivers as a whole.  In 2008 studies show that 37% of fatal crashes with 16-20 year old male drivers involved speeding.

Driving under the influence

As long as there has been cars on the roads there has been a problem with driving under the influence.  The laws nationwide have become harsher for drivers over the limit.  During the holiday season this is a major problem.  We all know when we have had too much to drink.  There is no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel while intoxicated.  Call a taxi, a friend or a parent but do NOT get behind the wheel drunk….period!

Tailgating

Following too closely seriously reduces your response time.  It makes the driver in front of you uncomfortable and is an all-around bad idea.  If the driver in front of you has to break quickly chances are you will not have enough time to stop without colliding into the back of their vehicle.  99% of the time you will be deemed at fault and will be ticketed.  This is a common error teenagers make.  Statistics show female drivers between the ages of 16-21 are more likely to tailgate compared to drivers over the age of 22.

Driving drowsy

Driving when you are extremely tired can be as dangerous as driving under the influence.  During the holiday season when we are all on the go to family gatherings or company parties we are all tired.  Knowing when we are just too tired get behind the wheel can save not only your life, your passenger’s lives and the lives of countless others on the road.

ICC Collision Centers has several locations to serve you if you do have a collision.  Our goal is to not only be here for you if you vehicle needs repairs but to educate you in the common reasons collisions happen.  If we all take a few moments before we get behind the wheel to determine if we are ready for that trip we could save thousands of lives.

ICC Collision Centers wants you to know the dangers of driving at any time of the year.  Do your part this summer season to make our roads a safer place.  Pay attention and always be alert!

ICC Collision Centers

3131 Standard Avenue

Santa Ana, California 92705

Car Insurance Laws & Regulations in California

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The state of california is what they call a “Fault” Car Insurance State

California uses a “fault” method when it comes to car insurance as well as the kinds of solutions available after a motor vehicle accident. Basically, there are not many restrictions on the choices of anyone injured in an accident, when it comes to going after an insurance coverage claim or taking legal action against those who are legally at fault. Following a car accident in CA, if you have suffered a physical injury as a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you are able to take one or more of the following steps in looking for ways to get reimbursed for your losses (doctor bills, lost earnings, damage to property and more
• file a claim using your own insurance policy
• carry on with the claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, or
• file a PI lawsuit against the at-fault driver exclusively

Please Note: While living in a no-fault car insurance state, a driver that has been injured in a accident must rely on their own auto insurance company for payment of issues such as medical bills or lost income, regardless of exactly who was at fault for the accident. Remedies against the at-fault driver are super limited, but are possible if certain thresholds are met. California drivers do not need to worry about these no-fault rules.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in the state of California

California law requires liability insurance coverage — at or more than minimum dollar amounts. This applies to and for any motor vehicle operating on the roads in this state. This insurance is meant to compensate other drivers/passengers for damage to property or personal injuries just in case an accident occurs. The minimum amounts of coverage required under California law are:

• $15,000 for injury / death to one person while driving a motor vehicle
• $30,000 for injury / death to multiple people, and
• $5,000 for property damage

Keep in mind, this is actually the bare min amt of liability coverage required under the laws of the state of California. You should always try to carry more coverage. A Simple justification to carry more coverage that that is required by law, is if you are at fault on an accident, your insurance will only cover you up to the maximum that is state on your policy. As soon as the limits of your policy are exhausted, you will be left personally responsible for paying the rest of the damages to the vehicle in question..

How to comply with the State of California’s“Financial Responsibility” Requirement

To meet California’s minimum insurance responsibilitys, the overwhelming majority of motorists in California will certainly purchase a car policy providing you with liability coverage equal to or in excess of the min needs. But California actually does allow vehicle owners to choose a couple of other approaches of adhering to the state’s financial responsibility laws and regulations. Rather than purchasing a qualified insurance plan, vehicle owners can:

  • Deposit cash in the amount of $35,000 with the CA DMV
  • Obtain a self-insurance certificate from the CA DMV, or
  • Obtain a $35,000 surety bond from an issuer that is licensed to do business in the state of California.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage is simply Not Required in California

California doesn’t require motorists to carry underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist insurance, but it is a really great idea to understand more about these coverage options and the kinds of protection they offer.

For more info on automobile insurance policies and laws in the state of California, see Insurance Requirements for Vehicle Registration from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. 

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What to expect from you car insurance after a total loss

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After an accident, dealing with car insurance and a totaled car can be quite stressful. Knowing how to approach your insurance company and being familiar with what to expect can be very helpful. Being forced to replace a totaled car is especially difficult if you leased or even financed the automobile.

Reasons Your Automobile Can be described as Total Loss

You can find three explanations why your insurance provider would think about your car a complete loss:

  1. It can’t be repaired safely
  2. You live in a state where the loss is a total loss due to cost of damage.
  3. The vehicle’s worth is less than the repairs.

For an insurance company to arrive at the decision your vehicle is a total loss, they ask their claims insurance adjuster to make an estimate of the cost of the damages, combined with the estimate, how old the car is, it’s mileage, it’s pre-accident body condition, plus any pre-accident improvements. Then your adjuster finds similar makes / models that re for sale in your same location and takes the total loss estimate, compares it along with the cost of other vehicles like yours, checks the KBB value, & comes up w/ the Real Cash Value of your automobile. You can ask the adjuster for the specifics of the estimate and if you feel your automobile may be worth more, try to find a more suitable match.

Will the Insurance Company Replace My Car by giving me a New One?

Not unless your business provides Guaranteed Rc coverage for brand new vehicles in that case your payment will cover the cost of a brand new car. If you don’t have this kind of coverage, your insurance provider is only forced to pay out the specific cash value of your vehicle minus the collision deductible. This cash amount will probably be enough to buy a car just like your other one.

Will I Get issued a Check for the entire Amount?

If you own the car, you will receive payment within a few days if not it will depend on if you have a car that is leased or financed.. If the event the car is leased, the entire amount goes to the leasing organization. If you financed the vehicle, the total amount owed on the car will go with them and the rest goes to you. If your insurance policy gave you a short-term rental-car, ask to your adjuster how long it will be possible to keep the rental before having to buy a new car.

What If I want to Keep and Repair the Car on my Own?

Sometimes because of sentimental attachment, people desire to keep & repair their cars after the collision. In cases like this, a number of factors, the adjuster must consider before the owner obtaining the car. Many of these factors include is this permitted by state regulations, then the salvage yard is contacted to check out what is the fair market value on the car. Once the fair market value is determined, this amount gets subtracted from your pay out; you get your automobile back with the remainder of the settlement plus a salvage title. The salvage title will not permit you to register your automobile until you make all the repairs.

The price and stress of fixing a damaged or totaled vehicle can be devastating. Understanding what the language of your insurance policy is regarding totaled cars and knowing state laws should make the experience a little more bearable.

ICC Collision has 4 convenient locations to serve you.  If you are interested in getting an easy online estimate of damage, feel free to use our online estimate tool.  Once your information is received, we will review it and contact you with a quote.

For more information, Contact ICC Collision Centers by clicking the picture below:

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How will a collision affect my insurance policy premiums?

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The fear that auto insurance rates will automatically increase is the main reason why most drivers are hesitant to file an auto claim after a minor accident.

In reality, this is not always what happens. Your car insurance company determines if car insurance rates will go up as well as by how much.  This all depends on the circumstances of the particular accident, as well as whether accident forgiveness is on your policy.  Nobody really can tell exactly how an accident will affect their auto policy rates, the information below may allow you to get a bit of insight and predict the outcome.

Rates Based on Collision Specifics:

When determining how a collision can and will affect your auto policy rates, these are just a few of the factors they are likely to consider:

  • The severity of the incident. Damage from a car accident can range from a simple scratch or dent in paint to the car being totaled.
  • Larger quantities of destruction are likely to lead to a greater rate hike, or surcharge, because the insurance company must come up with a larger payout.
  • The at-fault driver. In many cases, your car insurance rates will go up if the accident is your fault, but remain the same as long as you can prove that the accident was the other driver’s fault.

On the other hand, certain exceptions apply, including but not limited to the following:

  • Quite a few companies will yet still raise your premium BC you are statistically more likely to get into yet another automobile accident, showing more risk for your company.
  • If you live in a no-fault state, both parties insurance agencies are required to pay for some of the costs, and your premiums will probably go up regardless of who caused the auto collision.
  • Your worthiness to the company. Safe motorists are less costly for auto insurance companies to cover.
  • If you have a long reputation of safe driving and you’ve been using the company for any long period of time, you are less likely to see dramatic spikes in your monthly fee than someone who has a very poor record of driving with many accidents..

Some businesses also provide accident forgiveness for safe drivers with a clean history. This simply means that your first accident won’t result in rate increases.

Accident Forgiveness

Many companies provide accident forgiveness to customers with great driving records.  A car accident forgiveness program usually allows great drivers to experience 1 collision without suffering the consequences of an increased premium after the claim, despite fault.  Check with your vehicle insurance carrier to see if they offer this type of program.
The Importance of Filing a Claim
Should you get into an accident, your vehicle is stolen, or another incident happens, don’t automatically steer clear of filing a claim BC you think your car insurance rates will go up.
An increase in your vehicle insurance rates are not necessarily permanent. Some companies raise your rate for the time being, but allow it to drop every year that you do not get yourself into another collision. Within a few years, your insurance costs can go back to their pre-accident rates.
Consider your company’s policies as well as the accident details to decide whether you wish to file a claim. Keep in mind that filing a claim allows you to:
• Tell your side of the collision story.
• Have your insurance company check out the accident.
• Use your coverage to pay for either your car or the other end of the accident’s party’s injuries or damages.

Regardless of you rates, getting into a collision is very serious, especially if your vehicle has been damaged and has become a hazard to drive.  In this case, you will need to call a reputable collision center such as ICC Collision.  We have trained and certified technicians to assist you with the insurance process as well as the process of getting your vehicle fixed.

ICC Collision has 4 convenient locations to serve you.  If you are interested in getting an easy online estimate of damage, feel free to use our online estimate tool.  Once your information is received, we will review it and contact you with a quote.

For more information, Contact ICC Collision Centers by clicking the picture below:

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Driving During the Super Bowl

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In 2003 a study was performed by the University of Toronto to see if collisions increase after the Super Bowl. Shockingly it uncovered there is a 41% increase in motor vehicle collisions in the hours after the Super Bowl.  The first hour after the game is the worst with the accident rate jumping a whopping 70%.  This study compared accident data from 27 Super Bowl Sundays from 1975 to 2001.  While they did not that there was a 10% decrease in accidents during the game itself and assumed there are less people on the road at that time.

ICC Collision Centers understands how exciting the big game can be.  Especially if “Your” team in playing.  Super Bowl parties are everywhere and most have some kind of alcohol.  As always ICC Collison wants our customers, families and friends safe on the road.  ALWAYS have a designated driver, just in case that one drink turns in to several, or “Your” team wins the big game.  Keep these statistics in mind after Super Bowl parties or any party you attend this year.

The New England Journal of Medicine noted that the largest rise in accidents occurred in the home states of the losing team.  Those accidents increased by 68% after the game and only 6% increase in the winner’s state.  In the so called “neutral” states the crashes increased 46%.  With this amount of accidents of course the fatality rate increased.  The fatality rate went from 17 to 24 on comparison Sundays.  Injuries went up from 1,300 to 1,900 with crashes topping 4,000 up from just under 2,000.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that drinking during the game, driver fatigue because of the hours before during and after the game add up and disappointment among drivers whose teams lost all contributed to the increase in accidents.  Even those fans who do not par-take in the drinking portion of the parties are still as risk because of distraction while driving.  Replaying the game with all the highs and lows with passengers in the car can distract the driver, causing accidents.

ICC Collision wants all of our customers to have fun and celebrate exciting events such as the Super Bowl, but you must do it responsibly.  If you do find yourself in an accident with a drunk or distracted party goer give ICC Collision a call.  We can tow your vehicle to our shop, repair your car back to its former glory and get you back on the road.  We have several locations in Santa Ana, LA, Culver City and Torrance, CA and are always here to help!!  Just give us a shout!

ICC Collision Centers
HQ in Santa Ana California
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