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How Distracted Driving Affects Your Vehicle: Hidden Damages You Need to Know

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, but its consequences extend far beyond immediate physical injuries. Your vehicle can sustain hidden damages that may not be immediately apparent, potentially compromising your safety and costing you more in repairs down the line. At Old Town Auto Service, we're committed to helping you understand and address these issues.

Types of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving encompasses any activity that diverts your attention from driving. The most common types include:

  • Visual Distractions: Looking away from the road, such as checking your phone or adjusting the GPS.
  • Manual Distractions: Taking your hands off the wheel, such as eating, drinking, or handling objects.
  • Cognitive Distractions: Letting your mind wander away from the task of driving, such as daydreaming or engaging in a heated conversation.

Common Vehicle Damages

Even minor incidents caused by distracted driving can lead to hidden vehicle damages. These damages might not be immediately visible but can affect your car's performance and safety over time.

  • Alignment Issues: A minor collision, like hitting a curb or another vehicle, can knock your wheels out of alignment. Misaligned wheels can lead to uneven tire wear, poor handling, and decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Tire Damage: Running over debris or hitting a pothole while distracted can cause significant damage to your tires. This includes punctures, bulges, or sidewall damage, which can lead to blowouts if not addressed promptly.
  • Suspension Problems: Your car's suspension system absorbs shocks and provides a smooth ride. Distracted driving incidents can damage components like shocks, struts, and springs, leading to a rough ride and poor handling.
  • Frame Damage: More severe collisions can result in frame damage. Even if the impact seems minor, the underlying structure of your vehicle might be compromised, affecting its ability to protect you in future accidents.

Signs of Damage

It's crucial to be aware of the signs that your vehicle may have sustained hidden damage. After any incident involving distracted driving, look out for the following:

  • Unusual Noises: Listen for strange sounds such as rattling, grinding, or squeaking when driving.
  • Vibrations: Feel for any unusual vibrations, especially in the steering wheel, which can indicate alignment or suspension issues.
  • Steering Problems: Pay attention to any difficulty in steering or if the car pulls to one side.
  • Uneven Tire Wear: Check your tires regularly for signs of uneven wear, which can indicate alignment or suspension problems.

Importance of Immediate Inspection

Why is it so crucial to get your vehicle inspected after an incident? Hidden damages can worsen over time, leading to more significant and costly repairs. An immediate inspection ensures that any issues are detected and addressed before they become severe, keeping you safe and your repair costs manageable. If you've experienced an incident, don't wait—bring your vehicle to Old Town Auto Service for a thorough inspection. We're here to help you get back on the road safely.