Automobile Safety & Garage Safety!

Maybe this month’s full moon has made a dent in garages and cars…literally, or maybe it is a mere coincidence, but we have heard about and seen more autos colliding with garages then we could realistically imagine.

Let’s begin by saying the what spawned this post was “a car hits a garage encounter” by a customer at a friends shop. It was 30 minutes before Tim opened shop. An early customer decided to park right in front of the garage so that once the shop opened, pulling straight in was all that needed to be done. Well shop is about to open, but the customers car needs to go into a different area. She was asked to go ahead and move her car, which she proceeded to do, but rather than reverse to move where hs needed, she (accidentally) out the car into drive and hit the gas. BASH! Right into the shops garage. Needless to say, it was an accident, but not fun for my buddy’s shop or the woman’s car.

This post is meant to drive awareness…. Be aware of the garage! Not only will your car get a bit beat up, but garage fixes are not cheap. Your homeowners or auto insurance may the claim, but without proper insurance or if you’re a renter……be aware of that big piece of metal or wood!

We decided to reach out to the garage door company, Ahwatukee Garage Doors, that fixed my buddy’s shop garage. We wanted to get insights of how many garages they fix from vehicles hitting and damaging the good ol’ door. There response was, “more than you would think.” They also informed us that in the past month alone they repaired six, yes SIX garages that had been damaged by automobiles…crazy huh?! Two of those happened from teenage drivers, and the other four from adults. Maybe it is the full moon. Maybe people are getting antsy as the seasons change, who knows!

Well here is a little advice on how not to damage your garage with your car. It may seem crazy, but it happens. Whether it’s a tight fit getting your car into the garage or it’s lack of distance perception, take a minute to review what could save you a big headache, time and money.

  1. Attach a Tennis Ball. If you are unsure of the stopping point once you’ve entered your garage, hanging a tennis ball can be a great cue and forewarning of when to stop. Hang the ball so that as you pull the car in you know to stop when the ball is touching the windshield.
  2. Install Bumpers or Blocks. This is helpful especially if it is a tight squeeze. You can use pool noodles or block where you need the most. This will prevent you from hitting the sides of the garage and you car.
  3. Turn Your Headlights On. This tip is obviously helpful at night, especially at dusk when they may still be off, but the light is dim or you don’t have a light in your garage. It is always quite helpful during the day and will create more see space as you pulling in.
  4. Side Reflectors. If you park outside of the garage and are concerned about hitting the garage from pulling up to close, a great thing to do is attach a reflector to an upright pole and use it as a cue when to stop. Place it a few feet from the garage door on the side of your driveway (maybe even use 2). As you pull up, stop inline with the reflelctors. Especially helpful at night.
  5. Be CAREFUL. Slow down and take precautions. You will wish you had should you ding your garage door or your car. If you have a tight squeeze, really just pay attention. No cell phones or diverted attention, just total awareness with what you are doing.