Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marketing is Service

Square 2 Marketing wrote a great entry about how Service is the Marketing when it comes to word of mouth advertising.

Many times companies tend to talk way too much about how great they are that they forget to perform where it matters most. Mike Lieberman said that CollisionMax called him to let him know his car, which was in the shop for body work, was out of repair, being painted and would be ready a few days earlier than expected.

Watch this video and see how customer service is normally performed the old way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Drivers Forget to Sleep

Sleep is not voluntary, so if you are drowsy you can fall asleep without knowing it.  During a "microsleep" of a few seconds, a car travel 100 yards — plenty of time to place yourself, your passengers and your vehicle in harm's way.

Symptoms of fatigue often include slow reaction times, drifting between lanes, sore or tired eyes, poor concentration, blurred vision, impatience and constant yawning.  In many cases, drivers do not remember the last few miles of the trip. 

The obvious solution is to get enough sleep the night before trip.  But stress, pressure and anxiety fatigue many drivers BEFORE they get behind the wheel.  Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and colas are no substitute for sleep.  The caffeine may make you feel temporarily alert, but the effects last only a short time.

Auto Body & Glass Centers: Sleep-Related Road Crashes

Auto Body & Glass Centers: Sleep-Related Road Crashes

Sleep-Related Road Crashes

National Lampoon's film Vacation portrayed the Griswold family's madcap trek across the country to Wally World.  One particularly memorable scene depicted the entire family sleeping soundly and comfortably.  When the camera pans back we realize that they are asleep in a rapidly moving, out-of-control vehicle, and that Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is snoozing behind the wheel.

That scene got a lot of chuckles from audiences, but driver fatigue is no laughing matter.  Jim Tornetta from CollisionMax says, "Accidents involving driver fatigue are twice as likely to result in fatalities because a sleeping driver is unable to brake or swerve."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are 56,000 sleep-related road crashes annually in the USA, resulting in 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.  So how will you know if you are too tired to continue driving?  You probably won't.

See our next blog about sleep and fatigue.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Age vs. Accidents

Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in all age groups. Statistics show that 40,000 of the nearly 6 million accidents each year result in fatalities. Alcohol is a factor in 40 per cent of these fatalities and speeding accounts for 29 percent of deaths. Speeding and alcohol are not the only problems we face on the road —young drivers (16-20 years of age) and older drivers (over the age of 69) have much higher fatality rates than those between the ages of 21 and 69.

Teen drivers are more likely to be the cause of their own accidents than more seasoned motorists because they lack maturity and driving experience. Immaturity is evident in such risky practices as tailgating and speeding. Jim Tornetta, president of CollisionMax, says, "Many teens are ill-equipped to handle emergency driving maneuvers, and the majority of teen injuries and fatalities come about in single-vehicle crashes." He continues, "They simply lose control of the car and cannot recover in time." Alcohol, cell phones, loud music and distractions from other teenage passengers are also significant contributing factors to teen crashes.

Although they typically wear their seat belts, drive the speed limit, and rarely take risks on the road, senior citizens' crash rates have skyrocketed. Highway deaths for motorists under 65 have dropped 3 percent since 1995, to 33,659 last year. Among seniors, however, deaths jumped 15 percent over the same period, to 8,141 last year. During the past two decades, the fatality rate of senior drivers has also risen.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatalities among elderly drivers will increase faster than their population, to more than 23,000 annually - 63 deaths a day - by 2030. Although they don't drive as recklessly as some younger motorists, seniors have difficulty with reaction times, reading road signs and judging distances.

States are struggling for an answer to senior driving issues. Florida is enlarging some highway street signs from 12 inches to 36 to accommodate the weaker vision of its 2.9 million elderly drivers. Nine states are considering legislation that requires doctors to report serious medical conditions afflicting seniors to motor-vehicle authorities. Officials could then order new driving tests or revoke licenses.

Although there is no easy answer, government agencies are introducing new programs to help teens and seniors become better drivers. With a little work, the roads will be safer for motorists of all ages.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Perils of Tailgating

If You Can Read My Speedometer
from Your Car — BACK OFF

When we're behind the wheel we routinely scan the road up ahead for potential hazards. But how often do we pay attention to the road behind us? We should always be aware that a road hazard can sneak up behind us in the form of a tailgater.

James Tornetta, President of CollisionMax Auto Body & Glass Centers in Philadelphia, PA says, "Most rear-end collisions occur because someone was following too closely, so the best way to avoid being hit from behind is to identify and avoid tailgaters." Although we might be tempted to taunt the tailgater by slowing down or not letting him pass, this is a breach of defensive driving practices and could set off an episode of road rage.

The correct thing to do when you are being tailgated is to let the tailgater pass you as soon as possible. These are not drivers you want in your vicinity. If you can avoid the tailgater, you can avoid a potential wreck. Tailgaters should never be ignored.

Most of us do not aspire to be tailgaters, so using the "Three-Second Rule" can help keep our distance. To make sure you're not following the car in front too closely, watch as it passes a fixed object such as a pole or building and count out three seconds. If you reach the object before three seconds, you're too close. If it's raining, snowing or foggy, count at least four seconds, and as many as six.

Also, be aware of the time it takes for you to bring your car to a complete stop. For the average car traveling 65 miles per hour, it takes the length of a football field to come to a halt. That doesn't leave any margin for error if you are being followed or are following too closely.

And ask yourself if someone in front of you stopped suddenly, would you be able to change lanes quickly
or drive onto the shoulder to get out of the way of the vehicle behind you? Traffic can become so congested that it makes your space cushion disappear; if this is the case, be extra cautious, open up space where you can and watch your speed.

Do not attempt to get away from a tailgater by accelerating, particularly if there is a vehicle in front of you. You can only control the space, or safety zone, in front of you. You can't control the space behind you.