12 Jun How to avoid unnecessary damage to your car bodywork
Accidents happen. They are unavoidable. But the gift of hindsight means after we’ve had one, we always dwell on it. Could you have done anything different? Possibly, although it depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
Being a body shop, we’ve heard some rather spurious tales of how bodywork damage occurred. We’ve also heard plenty of plausible ones. We’ve even witnessed a few accidents ourselves and been the victim of them. So, talking from professional experience, below we’ll detail how to avoid unnecessary damage to your car bodywork.
Here’s our top tips:
You park up at least twice on every journey you take. Most of the time it’ll go fine. But eventually, an accident will happen. It’s bound too. If you’re concerned about damage to your car from parking, we recommend the following:
- Avoid parking next to 3-door cars
It sounds anal, but we’re being serious. 3-door cars have doors that open out EXTREMELY wide – often double as wide as a 5-door car! This means you’re far more likely to get a ding in your door. Couple wide-opening doors with narrow parking spaces and you’ve a recipe for disaster. Can’t find a space? Move on. It isn’t worth it.
- Leave plenty of space between the lines
You can’t account for how other people park, but you can give yourself a better chance of avoiding damage by parking well within your lines. If you park on a line or close to it, you’ll find yourself blocked in eventually. Park considerately and leave plenty of space for others. You’ll avoid unnecessary dings by doing so.
- Park well away from anyone else
If you really want to avoid parking damage, park away from everyone else. People like to park as close to a venue as possible. In car parks, this means they flock to the front. Park at the back of the car park to avoid unnecessary damage. It won’t guarantee immunity, but less people will drive close to you, minimising the risk of damage.
Most accidents happen out on the road. Whether it’s someone going into the back of you at a roundabout or jumping a red light and smashing into you, accidents happen out there. For safer driving and to avoid unnecessary damage, we recommend the following:
- Don’t become complacent
If you drive for a long time without having an accident you get a chip on your shoulder. You start to believe you’re invincible. Well, you’re not. You’re human. You’re prone to error. And you can’t count on other people to bail you out on the road. So, think twice the next time you tuck into that corner at huge speed or race between the lights.
- Don’t take risks
If you take risks out on the road you’re asking for trouble. Whether it’s overtaking people in excess of the speed limit or not giving way and squeezing between parked cars on residential streets, you’re going to have an accident eventually. Take your time out there and avoid unnecessary stunts. You’ll have a safer drive that way.
- For god’s sake, put down your phone!
6 points and a £200 fine. That’s the cost of being caught using your mobile phone whilst driving. 12 points, and you’re banned. For new drivers, it’s worse – 6 points in your first two years, and you’re banned. Is it worth it? You’re five times more likely to crash on the road if using your mobile phone. So, don’t be stupid. Put the thing down.
- Keep safety systems turned on
Your car comes with a host of safety equipment to help you avoid accidents. Basic systems include ABS and air bags. More advanced systems include Lane Keep Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and much more. Wherever you have the ability to switch these on and off, just keep them on. It’s safer that way.
- Remember to switch on your headlights
This is less of an issue nowadays because most new cars have automatic headlights, but we still see people driving at night without them on. The bottom line here is this – if you drive without your headlights on at night people can’t see you. This means they might pull out on you at a junction or just drive into you. Being visible is a big part of road safety.
To sum up, you can avoid unnecessary damage to your car bodywork by being cautious, patient and aware out on the road.