CARSON, Calif., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- AutoPartsWarehouse.com, one of the nation's top online auto parts and accessories retailers, is supporting National Collision Awareness Month with tips for avoiding common fender benders, and for affordable, do-it-yourself repairs.
"According to NHTSA the highest percentage of vehicle collisions happen between December-March, and with this March coming in like a lion -- with more winter storms affecting areas of the country not known for snow and icy conditions -- we thought it was a good time to offer some basic driving tips to avoid some of the more common fender benders, as well as more serious accidents," said AutoPartsWarehouse.com CEO Shane Evangelist.
Though usually avoidable and often minor, these accidents can be costly. In fact, a recently released study showed that the average cost of an auto body repair in 2012 was $2,257.
See below for AutoPartsWarehouse.com's tips to keep fender benders to a minimum as roads across the US continue to be hit with severe weather:
Stay in Control and Centered
Keeping a vehicle in control when the road conditions are slippery is notoriously difficult. To maintain control, keep steering, braking and throttle inputs as smooth as possible - no sudden or jerky motions. Try to pay close attention to what the chassis (the framework of the car) is doing and if it feels unsettled, make gradual adjustments to point your vehicle away from trouble.
Additionally, vehicles act as a pendulum - flooring the gas lifts the front end and pushes down the rear, while stomping the brakes has the opposite effect and transfers the weight to the front axle. Avoid rapid changes in speed and velocity.
Keep Things Slow and Steady
The front end of a vehicle is composed of costly components that are designed to protect its expensive engine, transmission and front suspension. Slowing down when road conditions turn treacherous is common sense, but too few heed the message. Since the bulk of winter collisions are front-end related, matching speed to road conditions is an easy and cost effective way to save money and a costly trip to the body shop.
Look Ahead - Right Now!
Fighter pilots call it "situational awareness," and it means being upright, ready and prepared for whatever comes. This means no fiddling with a coffee cup, talking or texting on a phone or putting on make up. Instead of allowing distractions in, scan the road ahead of the next few cars to see what's happening and prepare an escape route at the first hint of trouble. Wherever your eyes are directed is what your car will be steering towards so keep them on the road.
DIY Auto Repair Tips
If avoiding a fender bender is impossible, then it's important to find a cost effective way to repair the dents and dings caused by one. A visit to a repair shop could cost thousands, but sourcing parts online doing the repairs yourself can save money with minimal time and effort. Some common do it yourself repairs include replacing damaged side mirrors, headlights, radiators, shocks and tires.
Lights and Light Covers
Whether you've dinged out your turn-signal light, corner light, fog light, brake light or headlight, replacing these parts are simple. In fact, none will take more than an hour of your time and the average cost of repair will be between $87 and $323, depending on how extensive the damage is.
If your side mirror has cracked or the casing has been damaged you should be able to find the right replacement part and be up and running in less than an hour and for less than $150!
Grille and Bumper
Damage to a front grille can look more serious than it really is and finding replacement parts is surprisingly easy. It takes about 1 ½ hours to install a new grille and can cost as little as $120. Fixing your bumper may have a slightly larger degree of difficulty but can definitely be done by yourself and for around $250. It is important to note that these repairs should not be neglected because the grille/bumper protect important and expensive components located at the nose of the vehicle, such as the radiator, power steering, turbos, inner coolers etc.
AutoPartsWarehouse.com recommends that all car owners consult NHTSA for all issues relating to vehicle safety and their owner's handbook for all repair issues.
Established in 1995, AutoPartsWarehouse.com is one of the nation's top online auto parts and accessories retailers and is dedicated to making it easy for consumers to save money by accessing auto parts online. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers a comprehensive catalogue of over 2 million auto parts and accessories, to fit all domestic and foreign makes from top aftermarket manufacturers. AutoPartsWarehouse.com offers consumers free shipping on orders over $50 as well as flexible payment and extended warranty plans and options. The company has parts warehouses in markets throughout the U.S. enabling rapid shipping of parts. AutoPartsWarehouse is operated by U.S. Auto Parts Network, Inc., (Nasdaq: PRTS).
Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, (424) 603-4340, firstname.lastname@example.org
 Traffic Safety Facts 2009, NHTSA  2013 BodyShop Business Industry Profile, Babcox Research