4 Bad Driving Habits that are Hurting Your Car

Posted by Chris Medine on Oct 7, 2019 12:23:00 PM

brake pedalYou likely keep up regular maintenance on your car such as oil changes and tire rotations.  However, whether you realize it or not, there are a few day-to-day things you can do to keep your car out of the repair shop as well.  Excessive braking, running your fuel till almost empty, and avoiding new noises that don’t sound normal are just a few things that could have you spending more money on repairs that very well could have been cheaper, or avoided all together.


Excessive Braking Wears Brake Pads

Your brakes are a vital part of your vehicle, allowing you to stop gradually or immediately given the situation.  Many motorists wait till the last minute before applying the brake, causing the brakes to work more than they should which, in turn, wears the brake pad thin much faster.  When you realize you are inevitably going to have to slow/stop your vehicle, it is important to try and gradually apply pressure to the brake, which will put less stress on the pads and rotors, extending their life span.  Keep money in your pocket, and try slowing down ahead of time!

Running on E can Damage the Fuel Pump

Just because your vehicle says you have 5 miles till empty, doesn’t mean you should let it go that far before your next fill-up.  No, it’s not just because you risk running out gas and being stranded.  It is also due to the fact that your fuel system is working harder to try and pump that last bit of fuel to keep the car moving.  Avoid damaging your fuel pump/system by keeping your fuel level higher. Additionally, this will prevent your car from collecting gunk at the bottom of the tank, which has probably never been cleaned out.  This is another easily avoidable situation but something people don’t realize actually harms their vehicle!

Emergency Brake Eases Transmission Stress 

Not many people know it, but just because your vehicle is in park, doesn’t mean it’s always safe, especially on uneven surfaces.  There is an extra mechanism in all vehicles that allows for the parking brake, or emergency brake to be used.  This extra feature is important to use on sloped surfaces so that your transmission is not bearing the whole load of your vehicle’s weight. The emergency brake is a second defense and also a useful tool that helps relieve some of that heavy weight off of one of the most essential parts of your vehicle.  Make it a habit to use the parking brake on uneven areas, and your transmission, and wallet, will thank you.

Ignoring Car Noises as Warning Sign

Is that a new clicking noise?  Or, perhaps you hear a strange hissing from under the hood.  Whatever you do, don’t just blow these off.  Make sure you’re checking fluid levels and having your vehicle properly maintained, as its longevity depends on it.  The hissing noise could very well be the warning sign of something larger in the works!

When it comes to keeping your vehicle safe and roadworthy, no one cares more than Medines!  While our focus may be on maintaining the structural integrity of your vehicle through auto body repair, we hope that tips like these will help extend the life of your car and keep you safely on the road.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

What to Do if You Are Involved in an Out-of-State Auto Accident

Posted by Chris Medine on Sep 21, 2018 10:57:00 AM

out-of-state car accidentAuto accidents present a number of challenges and a large amount of stress no matter where they occur.  However, when you find yourself involved in a collision in an unfamiliar area, far away from home, these issues can easily be exacerbated.  What are the laws and procedures in this state?  Where will your car be towed?  Can you even find a rental nearby?  These questions and more swirl inside your head as you try to navigate a totally unfamiliar situation.  Fortunately, handing out-of-state car accidents doesn’t have to be so complicated.  In fact, the steps you take after these wrecks are much the same that you would at home.  Here is what you need to know to be prepared.

Initial Steps After an Out-of-State Wreck

Whether you are near home or across the country, the immediate steps you should take after an accident are the same.  If possible, move your car to a safe area.  Then, check yourself and all parties involved in the collision for injuries. After this, you should call the local police and emergency response if necessary. While waiting on the police, you should take photos of the damage for record and try to find any witnesses who can help in writing a police report.  Also, while waiting for the police to arrive, communicate with the other vehicle driver to make sure they are not injured as well.  Exchange driver’s license and insurance cards with the other driver, and take photos of their documents for your records.

Calling the Insurance Company When You Are Traveling Out of State

Once safety precautions have been taken and the police called, call your insurance provider. Most policies provide coverage in all U.S. states and some even in other U.S. territories as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. Regardless of where the accident takes place, your insurance company uses a network of tow trucks, adjusters, mechanics, and rental services, and while you are certainly not obligated to use any of these, such contacts may prove helpful in an unfamiliar state.

From here, you will be able to have the car towed and have an adjuster from your insurance provider assess the damage. If you need to get back on the road, you can have your insurance company help you to obtain a rental while these details are worked out and continue on with your vacation.

If the car is declared a total loss, you will begin a process of negotiation with your insurance provider to determine the vehicle’s value and your settlement amount.  Remember that you do not have to accept the first offer! However, if the car is not declared as a total loss, there are some potential options you may have. You can have the car repaired in the state the accident took place in and make arrangements to have the car shipped to you or to return to pick it up once repairs are made. The other option would be transporting the wrecked vehicle by means of a towing company, renting a towing vehicle, or driving the wrecked vehicle (assuming it is safe and street legal) back to your home state for repair.

How is an Out-of-State Car Accident Handled in Court?

Let’s say that the insurance company does not provide you with a reimbursement that covers the cost of the accident in full, whether it be costs of injuries, additional damage, towing, rental, or car replacement. Do you take legal action in your home state or the state where the accident occurred?

Though it may be inconvenient, any litigation or court proceedings will be handled in the state which the accident occurred. Each state has different laws when it comes to assigning fault and handling lawsuits involving car accidents. Each state also has different statutes of limitation, meaning the time you have to take action following the accident. If you believe that you may need to file a lawsuit in order to receive full compensation, you should contact an accident attorney who is knowledgeable of the state laws and licensed to practice there.

Near or far, Medines Collision is here to service the people of South Louisiana when it comes to collision repair. Explore our website for more information on what to do if you are involved in an accident, as well as safe driving tips or more. If you have been involved in an accident, contact us today for a free estimate.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips, Auto Accident

5 Ways to Stay Safe During a Car Accident

Posted by Chris Medine on Aug 27, 2018 3:41:00 PM

Safety during an auto accidentWe often discuss what to do after a car accident when it comes to dealing with insurance, collision repair, rental services and many other agents. While the financial and material aspects that follow an accident are something to be prepared for, keeping yourself safe from physical harm during the wreck itself is more important than anything.

Here are a few rules, tips, and tricks to keep yourself as safe as possible in the event of a car wreck.

Safety features on your vehicle are there to protect you. Use them!

Your car likely has tons of safety features installed by the manufacturer that are designed to keep you safe in the event of a crash. You should never allow the number of passengers in your car to exceed the number of seatbelts, and each passenger should wear one at all times. Failure to buckle up is not only against Louisiana law, it puts you at risk of being ejected from the vehicle in the event of a crash.

Other safety features in most vehicles include airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic skid protection, and stability control. These features should be checked regularly to ensure working condition.

Secure objects within the vehicle. 

Many people involved in car accidents can become injured by the objects inside of their car. When the vehicle experiences the abrupt changes in force that come with collision with another object, the items in your car may remain in motion and become projectiles. Most objects are better off placed in the trunk of the car, rather than the back seat for this very reason.

Know how to brace for impact during an auto accident.

If getting into an accident becomes inevitable while you are driving, it is important to know how to prepare for impact. All vehicles will respond best to smooth braking and steering, so stomping the brakes and cutting a sharp turn on the wheel is never your best bet, even though it is the first instinct of most drivers.

Try to stay calm and avoid tensing up. Tightened musculature is easier to injure when introduced to outside force and can result in broken bones. If possible, avoid hitting stationery objects such as buildings or trees. Colliding with something strong and immovable will cause you and your vehicle to absorb most of force created from the impact. Side impacts should be avoided as well, due to the structural weakness of the side panels of your car and proximity to the driver or passengers.

Avoid secondary collisions.

If you have been involved in an accident, you should immediately move out of lanes of traffic if possible. Shut the car off and remain inside.  Do not smoke, as gas or fumes may have leaked, and an open flame could cause a fire or explosion. Stay inside of the vehicle, administer first aid if necessary and call the police.

The best way to stay safe from car accidents is safe driving.

Safe driving is your best defense against car accidents. Avoid distractions like eating or cellphone usage while driving a car. Be mindful of traffic laws, signs, and speed limits, as these are all implemented to keep the roadways safe and accident free.  Always be mindful of weather and road conditions, and never drive drunk or inebriated.  Your motor skills and reaction time will be impaired, and you are putting yourself at serious risk of causing a collision if you choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of a controlled substance.

While Medines Collision is here to keep you safe from the insurance company and to get you back on the road after an accident, we believe that protecting yourself from physical harm is most important. If you have any questions about your vehicle’s safety features or how to use them, Medines is happy to help. Contact us today or visit our website for information about road safety and car accidents.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Avoid A Car Accident In Baton Rouge

Posted by Chris Medine on Apr 23, 2017 5:29:30 PM

Distracted Driving in Baton RougeAs a collision center, we have the honor of returning your vehicle to a condition that is as good or better than it was before an accident. But if we had our way, we would prefer you not be in an accident at all. Unfortunately, Louisiana ranks in the top ten nationally for the number of drunk driving accidents, top five for accidents caused by speeding, and worse yet, top ten for traffic fatalities per-capita. To help you avoid a car accident in Baton Rouge, we have the top five most common causes of accidents nationwide.


  1. Distracted Driving – We’re sure this isn’t the first time you’ve heard the warnings about having your eyes on your cell phone instead of the road. Despite the warnings, the lure of the unread text, the desire to respond to a Facebook post, or the want to catch up on e-mail is now the number one cause of traffic accidents in the United States. That is not to say that distracted driving wasn’t a problem before, but the numbers have soared with the popularity of smart phones.
  2. Speeding – Speeding has long been a problem in Louisiana, especially in Baton Rouge. What makes speeding so dangerous is the combination of reducing reaction time while increasing the effects of the impact. This leads to an increased percentage of fatalities when speeding is a factor in an accident.
  3. Drunk Driving – Thanks to massive public awareness campaigns and stricter enforcement, drunk driving has actually declined in recent years. Recent campaigns have focused on “buzzed or impaired” driving being the same as drunk driving. Hopefully, if these show the same effectiveness, the numbers will continue to trend downward.
  4. Reckless Driving – Though this may seem like a vague term or redundant when you consider the previous three items on this list could all fall into this category, it’s important to note that “reckless driving” can include many other factors. Changing lanes without looking, turning into traffic without enough room to accelerate, or “running a yellow light” are just three examples of other ways a driver can be reckless. Usually, a combination of carelessness with impatience leads to something in the reckless category.
  5. Inclement weather – To be fair, weather is usually a factor in areas of the country that are impacted by snow. But, that is not to say we are immune to it. In South Louisiana, we have more than our fair share of torrential downpours and rain events that limit vision, traction, and reaction time.

If the day comes that you are in an accident, we at Medine’s Collision Center will be happy to make sure your vehicle looks and operates just as it did before the accident. But, if we can in some small way help you avoid that accident completely, we’re even happier.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Driving Safety Tips for Louisiana Winters

Posted by Chris Medine on Dec 15, 2016 1:51:21 PM

Louisiana winters

Louisiana winters may often be mild, but they are also wildly unpredictable.  Although snow and other winter considerations may be infrequent, it is still important to take some extra precautions to care for your vehicle in the winter.  By doing so, you can ensure that your vehicle looks and operates ideally, no matter what changes the forecast may bring. 

 Here are just a few tips for keeping your car running smoothly all winter:


Free Download: 7 Tips For Driving Safely in the Rain

Get a Pre-Winter Check

Before the temperatures begin to dip, take your vehicle to a mechanic and ask them to check the battery, brakes, antifreeze level, heater, defroster, and thermostat to make sure that all are in working order.

Check Tires

Tires with inadequate tread will pose a hazard to drivers attempting to navigate the road in rain, sleet, or snow.  Have tires rotated regularly to guarantee even wear, and replace as needed to ensure safety.

Check Lights

Visibility on the road becomes a very serious consideration during the winter when days are shorter and the darkness seems to creep in earlier and earlier.  Check that headlights and taillights are all operational, as well as flashing hazard lights, should you need them.

Take Care of Paint

Harsh winter conditions can have a damaging effect on your vehicle’s exterior.  While most may wash their car or truck more frequently in warmer weather, washing and waxing in winter months can help prolong the life of your paint.

These few tips will not only keep your vehicle running and looking great all winter, but they will also keep you safe in less than ideal road conditions.  In addition to these considerations, there are a few additional steps you can take to boost your own safety:

Always Keep an Emergency Kit

Among the items you should keep on hand in an emergency car kit are a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, flashlight, extra batteries, flares, and jumper cables.  To see a complete list, click here

Keep Your Phone With You

When traveling, always bring along your cellphone for safety purposes. Make sure it’s charged before you leave, and take along a car charger to boost your battery if needed.

Be Familiar With Your Route

Be aware of road and weather conditions before you travel, as well as of any areas such as bridges or overpasses that may be particularly hazardous in inclement weather.
Like we said, Louisiana winters can be very unpredictable. In fact, many of us joke about the drastic changes, not just from day to day, but from morning to afternoon to evening. We're not sure who the actual credit for this picture goes to, but we couldn't agree more:

4 seasons meme

Keep yourself and your vehicle safe this winter by following these few simple precautions, and in the event that you do experience an accident or damage to your vehicle, contact Medine's.  Our friendly staff will gladly answer your questions help guide you through the repair process to make getting back on the road as smooth as possible.  When you bring your car or truck to Medine’s, you will always receive friendly, professional service and the highest quality of work.  Click the button below to request an estimate, or call us directly at (225) 357-7983.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Safe Driving In The Rain

Posted by Chris Medine on Dec 23, 2015 3:59:53 PM

Driving in the rain in Baton RougeThe holidays are traditionally a time when more people are on the road. Christmas shopping, high school kids enjoying their break, people hitting the road to visit family, people in from out of town, and folks still in their daily routines; all add up to put more traffic on the streets this time of year. This year, we don't have the usual winter weather to contend with. Instead, we can add rainy forecasts to that mix, and what we get is a recipe for a greater possibility for accidents. With this in mind, we want to help you get through the holidays accident-free, so we have compiled a few tips for safe driving in the rain.

Check your tire tread 

Bald tires and wet streets are a bad combination. Without proper tread, you are less likely to get any traction with the road as you drive. Without traction, you are more likely to hydroplane. Hydroplaning is what happens when the water between your tires and the road has no place to go and your car begins to slide. When your tires have the proper tread, that water is properly dispersed into the grooves of the tread, allowing your tires to maintain contact with the road. Generally, you want more than 2/16ths of an inch worth of tread depth to help avoid hydroplaning. A good way to see if you have more or less than 2/16ths of an inch is the penny test. The penny test is where you take a penny and stick Lincoln’s head into the tread. If the tread doesn’t cover at least to Lincoln’s eyes, you should replace your tires.

Check your wipers 

Most people in the automotive industry recommend changing your wiper blades in the spring as winter weather extremes usually cause the most damage to them. But, if you are hitting the road in the winter, you may not want to wait for spring. Extreme weather conditions cause damage to wiper blades, and in South Louisiana, extreme weather can happen at any time of year. Excessive heat in the summer can cause the blades to crack. Leaves, pine needles, or other debris getting caught under the blades can also cause damage. If you see streaks of water or smeared water left behind after the blade passes across the windshield, you should change them immediately.

Always use your headlights 

The general rule is: if your wipers are on, your headlights should be on as well. But, it doesn’t hurt to run your headlights before it starts raining as there are times where the sky doesn’t darken enough to cause you to realize that your headlights are needed. Even if the sky isn’t dark, the rain affects other drivers’ ability to see you. **Of course, you need to remember to turn your headlights off when you reach your destination. No one wants a dead battery for Christmas.

Slow down 

This may seem like common sense, but it is important to keep in the front of your mind. Since rain affects both visibility and traction, it is important to drive a little slower. While we’re on the road, we can develop a false sense of security with all the safety and comfort features of our vehicles. But, when it’s time to react quickly, the conditions outside your car are still there and still a very real threat.

Leave more distance 

This is another seemingly obvious and easy step to follow, but is vitally important in bad weather. Going back to the tip about tire tread, as you have a risk of hydroplaning, leaving extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is imperative as it gives you more opportunity to slow to a stop rather than risking skidding, sliding, or hydroplaning.

Be safe this holiday season. While we would like you to choose Medine’s if you get in an accident, we’d rather you avoid the accident altogether.

Free Download: 7 Trips for Driving in the Rain

Topics: Driving Safety Tips

5 Road Safety Tips For Memorial Day Weekend

Posted by Chris Medine on May 21, 2015 1:52:34 PM

Memorial Day Traffic Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the year on our Nation’s highways. This Memorial Day will be no exception as AAA predicts more than 33 million motorists to hit the road. They also expect to respond to over 350 thousand motorists who will need assistance because of an accident, breakdown, or any other reason. While the start of the summer driving season presents highway dangers, many of them are avoidable highway dangers. To help keep you safe this Memorial day, and throughout the summer we have compiled a list of 5 Road safety tips for Memorial Day Weekend.

Respect the weather 

While the forecast for Memorial Day weekend is currently calling for a 50% chance of scattered thunderstorms, we all know that the only thing certain about Louisiana weather is that it can and will change without warning. With that in mind, you may want to budget a little extra time on your road trip in case you have to slow down for the unexpected downpour. If and when the weather does take a turn for the worse, take the necessary precautions. Slow down and give yourself some extra space between you and the car in front of you. It is also recommended that you test your windshield wipers before you hit the road. Wiper blades should be replaced annually and as the weather heats up, the wear and tear of the last year becomes more evident.

Reduce in car distractions 

Distracted driving is the number one cause of accidents in America. All you have to do is look around at other motorists in your daily commute to understand why. On any given day, you’ll likely witness someone drinking hot coffee, eating behind the wheel, putting on make-up, or engrossed in conversation with another passenger. All of these things, and many more, take the focus off the road. There’s no guarantee that any one of them causes accidents, but the point to remember is that while you are experiencing your own little distractions, so is the motorist in the car next to you. Reduce your in car distractions as much as you can. Have a passenger handle the radio. Stop for your meals rather than eating behind the wheel. Create a checklist to make sure your kids have everything they need before you embark on your journey so you don’t have to fumble around looking for something in the backseat while you should be watching the road.

No texting 

This falls under distracted driving as well, but since the State of Louisiana feels strongly enough to make texting while driving a separate law from distracted driving, we’ll make it a separate category also. While there has been heightened awareness in recent years to curb texting while driving, the number of fatalities continues to rise. In fact, the National Highway Safety Administration equates texting while driving to driving after having four beers. Even though the statistics show that texting while driving isn’t as deadly as drunk driving, it is narrowing the gap. The short and simple solution is don’t do it.

Check your tires

Proper inflation and tread are the two most important things to check before you embark on your road trip. Improper tire inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.  In particular, those that are underinflated can lead to problems such as poor steering control, blowouts, or uneven tread wear. While a safety hazard, underinflated tires are also a drain on your wallet. Underinflated tires can impact your fuel efficiency by as much as 3.3 percent. 

Map your route 

This may seem a bit overcautious, and sometimes the point of the road trip is the carefree attitude of not being restricted to a regimented schedule, but a mapped out road trip eliminates, or greatly reduces, the possibility of last second lane changes, u-turns, or other corrections a driver would have to make if they miss their turn or end up off course. While you can deviate from the map you’ve laid out, it is still a good idea to have it as a general guide.

While we love our customers at Medines we value your safety even more and would prefer to see you avoid an accident in the first place. Check out the video below for more safety tips from AAA courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Tire Safety: Why it Really Matters [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by Chris Medine on May 29, 2014 4:44:00 PM

tire safety in Baton Rouge

Before any of us settle in behind the steering wheel, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our vehicle is completely roadworthy for both our own safety and that of others on the road.  That means regular oil changes, working lights and signals, and tire maintenance.  Each year, tire failure leads to thousands of otherwise preventable accidents.  Drivers are injured and vehicles are totaled, all because proper safety measures were not followed.

Across the nation, tire blowout season is just getting underway, and for Louisiana drivers, our exceptionally warm temperatures can be especially problematic.  Not caring for your tires, combined with the heat and increased likelihood of long road trips with overloaded vehicles all adds up to a recipe for disaster.  To keep your commute a pleasant one, particularly during the dog days of summer, there are a few tire safety measures that you need to follow:

  • Rotate Tires – Tires don’t wear evenly. In most vehicles, those in the front bear the brunt of the Tire Maintenance Essentialspressure and tend to wear down more quickly.  In order to extend the life of your tires and maintain tread, tires should be rotated every 5,000 – 10,000 miles on average.
  • Check Tread – An adequate level of tread depth is necessary for safe handling of a vehicle and grip in various road conditions.  To ensure that yours is at an appropriate level, do the “penny test.”  Insert a penny head first into the tread of your tire.  If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tread depth is at an unsafe level.
  • Check Inflation – Improper tire inflation is the leading cause of tire failure.  In particular, those that are underinflated can lead to problems such as poor steering control, blowouts, uneven tread wear, and can even impact your fuel efficiency by as much as 3.3 percent.  Frighteningly, most motorists allow their tire pressure to go unchecked for extended periods of time, and research indicates that as many as 28% of light vehicles on US roads have at least one underinflated tire.
  • Buy the Right Ones – Buying new tires may seem simple, but many drivers don’t make the best selections for their situation or vehicle.  It’s important to seek the input of an expert who can help you determine how many tires you need to replace, and what size and brand best suits your needs.  Making the appropriate selections will not only help keep you safe, but it will also allow you to extend the life of your tires by finding those that are most appropriate for the job.

Tire maintenance is just one safety consideration that drivers must make, but it is an important one.  Some simple steps taken now can prevent an unfortunate event later.  However, there will always be circumstances that, despite preparation, may be beyond your control.  If you have been involved in an accident or your vehicle has been damaged in Baton Rouge, contact Medine’s Collision Center.  Our team of professionals can help restore your vehicle to its roadworthy condition and get you back behind the wheel.  Simply click here to request your estimate, or call us directly at (225) 357-7983.

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

It's Time to Slow Down, Baton Rouge!

Posted by Chris Medine on Mar 28, 2014 3:51:00 PM

Speeding Baton RougeWe’ve all witnessed it, and many of us may have even been guilty.  You’re in a rush or simply not paying attention as you should, and before you know it, you’re well over the speed limit.  This type of thing happens, and it happens often.  Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly dangerous to the guilty party, as well as any other drivers they may encounter along the way. 

Texting while driving and impaired driving have gained a lot of attention for the immense danger these activities cause on the roadway.  However, despite alarming statistics, speeding does not receive the same credence.  It’s typically deemed acceptable to break the speed limit by a few miles per hour.  In fact, surveys have shown that as many as 43 percent of drivers think it is perfectly safe to drive 10 MPH over posted speed limits, and a surprising 36 percent think that 20 MPH over is acceptable.  In reality, this could not be further from the truth.

Speeding is found to be a contributing factor in 36 percent of fatal traffic accidents.  The only factors which carry more weight are distracted and impaired driving.  In the end, it equates to about 13,000 lives lost each year due to speeding motorists.  And perhaps the most disturbing part is that it’s all in the name of saving a few minutes of time.  Simple mathematics can reveal that speeding doesn’t really cut that much time off of your commute, but it can be costly.  In addition to putting lives at risk, speeding fines can quickly add up.  On average, Americans spend $6 billion each year paying fines for excess speed. 

So, the next time you’re in a hurry, consider the potential consequences.  The chances that you’ll reach your destination significantly faster are slim.  However, the odds of being involved in an accident or receiving a ticket are much higher.  Consider your own safety as well as that of others and stay within the posted limits.  By doing so, we can all make our roads a much safer place to be.

Of course, we understand that traffic accidents will happen, and when they do, Medine’s Collision Center is here to help get your vehicle back into roadworthy condition.  If you are seeking the help of a dependable and trustworthy collision center in Baton Rouge, look no further.  To contact our office, simply click here, or call us directly at (225) 357-7983.  

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips

Important Steps Before Your Road Trip

Posted by Chris Medine on Feb 28, 2014 3:24:00 PM

road trip checklist

With the Mardi Gras holiday coming up and children out of school, many area families will be taking to the highway for road trips.  Getting away for a vacation is a welcome and much needed break for most, but before taking off for a weekend or week of fun, it’s important to make sure your car is roadworthy.  Too often, people neglect to prepare their vehicle for a long trip, and what was supposed to be a relaxing getaway, quickly becomes stressful.

While packing your bags and making reservations, remember that there are a few other important to-dos that should go on your list.  Here is a checklist of some things you will want to inspect on your vehicle before you depart:

  • Tires – Tire pressure is an important aspect of road safety.  When not properly inflated, you run the risk of blowouts while traveling at high speeds.  If you do find that you have low tire pressure, you will be able to put air in them and have any holes patched before you leave.  Additionally, check that your tread is not too worn by placing a penny in the grooves with Lincoln’s head pointing down.  If you can see the space above his head, you will know it’s time to replace your tires.
  • Oil – If you are nearly due for an oil change, it is best to have it done before you leave for a lengthy road trip.  Keep in mind the mileage on your vehicle, the last time you had it changed, and how far you will be traveling.
  • Air Filter – While having your oil changed, also have the air filter inspected.  A clogged one can negatively impact fuel economy.  Keep in mind that they are inexpensive and easy to replace.  If yours has been around for 10,000 miles or more, it’s time for a new one.
  • Major Repairs – If you have been putting off any major repairs, they should be completed before hitting the road.  Under no circumstance should you leave on a road trip in a vehicle in need of major maintenance.  Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to have the repair completed in case any other, unexpected needs or expenses should also arise.
  • Important Documents – Before leaving home, check that your registration and insurance are in your vehicle.  While you should never drive without these documents, not having them when you are hundreds of miles from home can be especially troublesome.  Also ensure that your owner’s manual is readily available, should you run into any problems with your vehicle along the way.

We hope that you will enjoy a safe and relaxing get away this Mardi Gras, but you should remember that proper vehicle maintenance is an important part of that as well.  Taking care of these few points before hitting the road can mean the difference between an enjoyable road trip and a stressful one. 

At Medine’s Collision Center, we’ve dedicated our work to quality auto body repair.  If you are in need of collision repair and are looking for a friendly and knowledgeable company, look no further.  

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Topics: Driving Safety Tips