car accident

Is My Car Safe to Drive After an Accident?

You just got into an accident. What should you do now?

If your car was severely damaged and undrivable, you likely had to have your car towed to an auto repair shop, or if it was totaled, your car may have even been taken away to a junkyard. But in instances where your car has exterior damage and is capable of driving you may be wondering whether or not it’s safe to drive your vehicle. 

You may also be tempted to believe that the damage is only external, but the reality is until you have your car checked out by a professional you won’t know what extent the damage has been done to your car internally or if there are mechanical problems. 

Driving a vehicle that has mechanical damage will only cause more damage to your car or truck. Plus, it can be very unsafe for both yourself and other drivers on the road. Since getting into an accident is stressful enough, we’ve put together some common questions and answers you may have after getting into a car accident.

car damage from accident

What Should I Do First After Getting Into an Accident?

The state of Minnesota recommends drivers take the following steps should they get involved in a car accident:

  • If possible, move out of traffic into a safe location. 
  • Turn off your engine and call 911.
  • Exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver.
  • Take pictures of the damage and accident scene. 
  • Write down the details of the accident.
  • Call your insurance company.

Here you can find more detailed information on what to do after getting into an accident.

Is My Car Still Legal to Drive?

This question most likely can’t be answered without knowing the full extent of the damage, however, there are some clues that your car should not legally be driven after an accident. For example, if your headlights, brake lights or turn signals are not functioning, your car should not be driven. Having a cracked windshield, missing a side mirror or driving a vehicle that is leaking fluids may not only be cause for getting pulled over but can also pose a danger when driving. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you’re unsure it’s best to have your vehicle checked out by a professional. 

You can learn more about the dangers of driving with a cracked windshield here.

damage to front of vehicle

What Does It Mean If My Car is Smoking?

Smoke or steam coming from the engine of your vehicle can be caused by a number of issues. If you notice your car is smoking, do not drive your car, even if it’s only a short distance to your destination. Not only can smoke or steam obstruct your view, but it could also mean your car is overheating, or there is serious engine damage. 

Can I Drive My Car if One of the Tires is Flat? 

It’s common to get a flat tire after getting into a car accident. Again, if the flat isn’t bad and you need to drive a short distance, you may be tempted to drive your car. The fact is that even driving short distances can do serious damage to your vehicle. Don’t make matters unnecessarily worse after getting into an accident.

In addition to checking your tires, it’s also important to check and see if your wheels are properly aligned after a collision. If they are, your car is drivable, if there is faulty alignment with your wheels, your vehicle will pull to one side, which can increase your chances of swerving into another lane of traffic. Having your wheels properly aligned is an absolute must before you are can drive your vehicle again.

Making the Decision to Drive

Should you do decide to drive your car after an accident, it’s important to ensure that you operate your vehicle using extreme caution. When driving your car keep in mind that it isn’t running at 100%, and there may be problems you can’t see that are posing a threat to your safety. If notice abnormal sounds or anything else that may indicate something is wrong, it’s best to pull over and call for a tow instead of risking further damage to you, your vehicle, or other drivers.

Remember to be cautious and not make matters worse by trying to drive your car when it’s unsafe. If you’ve been in an accident, contact Ogston’s Auto Body for quality auto body repair in Duluth, MN by calling (218) 722-9464 or filling out our online form

broken windshield

The Dangers of Driving With a Cracked Windshield

Windshield damage is something every driver has to deal with at some point or another. If the crack is small you may be tempted to ignore it, but that’s not always the best idea. A cracked windshield can be a pain to deal with, but a cracked windshield is also a safety hazard. Instead of taking a risk and putting yourself and others at risk, contact us today to schedule windshield glass repair. Keep reading to learn more about the dangers of driving with a damaged windshield.

It Can Worsen Over Time

Even if there is only a small chip on your windshield, it can easily turn into a large crack at any time. A large crack or split in the windshield can be a dangerous distraction and even cause an accident. A chip can become a large for any number of reasons including moisture, dirt and extreme temperature.

It Won’t Be Able To Support The Force Of An Airbag

If you do get into an accident, and the airbags are deployed the windshield may not be able to withstand the force of the airbags deploying. This can cause the glass to shatter and cause bodily harm to you and any passengers in the event of a collision.

cracked windshield

You Compromise the Structural Strength of Your Vehicle

You may not realize it, but the windshield serves an important role in the overall structural strength of your vehicle which is another reason a cracked windshield is dangerous. If you are driving with a broken windshield and should you get into an accident the impact is shifted to another part of the car – usually the chassis or undercarriage. Which protect or lessen the damage to both the vehicle and passengers.

However, in a more severe accident, where the car rolls over, for example, if the strength of the windshield is already compromised there is a risk of the roof caving in. This can lead to more severe injuries to any passengers since there isn’t sufficient structure to keep the roof from caving in.

Increased Risk of Ejection in an Accident

Another dangerous result of a cracked or damaged windshield is you have an increased risk of ejection in the event of an accident. In the event a passenger is not wearing their seatbelt properly, or not at all, the windshield can help prevent them from being forcefully thrown from your vehicle. However, if your windshield has even a minor crack or chip it is possible it can cause the windshield glass to shatter on impact and will not offer you or your passengers any protection.

What Should I Do If I Have a Cracked Windshield?

If you notice a chip or crack in your windshield of any size you should bring your car in for auto glass repair or replacement immediately. At Ogston’s Body & Paint our technicians will determine whether the damage can be repaired, or if your windshield needs to be replaced entirely.

Don’t risk the well-being of yourself or your passengers by driving a vehicle with an impaired windshield. If you need windshield repair, call Ogston’s Body & Paint today. We are one of the most respected auto repair facility in the area. To schedule an appointment for auto body repair call us today or contact us here.