It can be safely argued that the United States is a nation of car lovers. Over 200 million Americans own a valid driver’s license, and many millions of cars are on the road every single day. When the time comes to purchase a new car, you can consult car catalogs and car magazines for ideas, and in those car magazines, you could discover some trends in car aesthetics and performance enhancements, if you like. In these car magazines, you can also find car maintenance and driving tips, which could save you some money and effort later. And if worst comes to worst, a car accident attorney can help you pursue litigation against the at-fault party, and you can reassess your financial life afterward. What is there to know about car accidents and car insurance, and getting your car tuned up just right?
The Auto Industry Today
Look into any car magazine or catalog, and you’ll see that there are all sorts of models and types of cars for just about any customer, and someone going car shopping may feel a bit overwhelmed at first. Fortunately, there are practical ways to narrow down the option when you are looking for a new car, and the auto industry has a lot to offer. There’s bound to be something out there for you. In fact, the auto industry alone accounts for 5% or so of all manufacturing jobs across the globe, and estimates once said that the American auto industry would grow 5.5% between 2010 and 2015. It may grow even more now in the 2020s, and many cars may be sold due to customers consulting online catalogs and car magazines. In 2011, for example, around 15-30% of all car sales began with an online lead. Cars are made in many nations across the globe, and the United States, Germany, Italy, and Japan are known for being home to some of the most popular brands of all, from Chevy to Mercedes-Benz to Toyota and Nissan. While there is no “best” brand, some of these brands are renowned for making many popular and high-quality cars, and some brand names may certainly be worth looking deeply into. How might this work?
Shopping For a New Car
To be sure, buying a new car is a time consuming and thorough effort, but it can be done, and often, consulting online catalogs and car magazines and blogs is a fine way to start. Customers today, such as you, can take advantage of more research power than ever before, and these car magazines and catalogs will help you get ideas on what you do and don’t need in a car or pickup truck. Perhaps you need a vehicle for commuting, or you’re planning on towing small trailers, or you need a vehicle that can comfortably fit a large family? Or, perhaps you have preferences on color, the car’s age and features, and horsepower?
Once you have a solid idea of what sort of car you want to buy, it is time to visit local dealerships and meet the staff there. Car sales reps will help you look over the available cars and explain their features, and you can check the cars with your own eyes for any attractive qualities or find any wear and tear in used cars. Not only that, but you can take a car for a test drive on nearby roads to truly get a feel for it. You may end up visiting multiple dealerships, or perhaps visit one more than once, before you have finalized your decision.
Buying a car usually means taking out an auto loan, since most customers can’t afford a car’s full price upfront. Most dealers are connected to five to ten banks and other money lending services, and a buyer with a good credit score may find it easy to get a loan approved at a good interest rate. A younger buyer with little to no credit may have an older, trusted relative or friend act as a co-signer, and use their credit score to appeal to the lenders. It may be noted that while the total auto loan debt among Americans today is very high, that is no cause for concern. Auto debt is common for adult Americans, and it is often the only way to afford a car, outside of leasing or renting one.
Fixing Up Your Car
You may not like the idea of your car getting damaged or worn out, but this is likely to happen at some point or other, and you must be ready. Even the shiny, fancy cars in those car magazines will suffer if they hit another car or if their parts are worn out. What might happen? Often, careless drivers may strike a glancing blow against your car and dent its body, or break off a bumper or bust the headlights. Or, the weather is very bad and you end up sliding on ice and run into another car or a piece of property, such as a mailbox. Drunk drivers are another serious hazard to watch out for.
Heavy, large hail can pound your car with dents on the roof, trunk, and hoods, such as hail the size of golf balls or larger. In other cases, you are driving behind a truck whose cargo accidentally came loose, and flying bricks or debris hit your car at high speed and dent it. Finally, there is also the hazard of vandals, who may throw objects at your car or strike it with crowbars or tire irons.
Should this happen, it is time for professional car dent repair, and you can look up local auto shops who can provide this service. After all, a car with dents in its body is not only unsightly, but those dents affect your car’s aerodynamic qualities, and your car will have low resale value. The workers at an auto body shop will pound out the car’s dents from the other side to eliminate them, and they may even remove pieces of metal from your car’s body to access the dents from the other side.
Other repairs may include the windshield, which will get cracks in it if flying debris or large hail strike it, or if vandals damage it on purpose. A car with a cracked windshield will fail a safety inspection, and the cracks may widen even more over time, so you are strongly urged to get that windshield replaced right away. Finally, even your car’s paint may get scratched or scraped off from the hazards mentioned above, not to mention if a heavy tree branch falls on your car or if vandals “key” it. To restore your car’s smooth paint job, like the luxurious paint jobs you see in car magazines, visit auto shops that offer paint touch up services. This involves sanding down the affected area, then applying primer, a few layers of paint, and sealant in that order. A car’s paint and sealant act as a protective skin for the car’s metal body, and exposed metal may rust and degrade. You don’t want that.
If You Become a Car Accident Victim
The good news is that most drivers on the road are safe and responsible about how they drive, but there are always drivers who are impaired from drugs or alcohol, or they are distracted by handheld electronics. Drunk drivers have impaired coordination, judgment, and reflexes, and they tend to drive recklessly and sloppily and become very dangerous as a result. They are likely to hit other cars, pedestrians, or property, and many people or injured each year because of them. A distracted driver is not looking where they are going, and probably will be too late to react to developments on the road and thus get into accidents. In yet other cases, the weather is poor, such as heavy fog, rain or snow (which reduces visibility), or the road is slick with ice and cars go out of control. Every year, a few million auto accidents take place, and even more Americans are injured as a result. What if this happens to you?
Suppose you survive a bad car accident, but your vehicle is totaled and you have been hospitalized due to injuries. What are you to do? Most likely, you have an active car insurance policy, but it is also a good idea to enlist the aid of a car accident attorney, and you can look up local car accident law firms online. This is a common occurrence, after all, and many law firms specialize in auto accident cases. You may consult a variety of car accident injury attorneys (this may or may not incur a fee), and hire one who is to your liking. Together, you can build a case for litigation, or even court, if it comes to that.
A car accident lawyer can provide a clear and objective perspective on the case, which is essential since you are probably emotionally charged during this time and probably not thinking straight. A lawyer will have the necessary skills and knowledge of the law to build your case, and they can get all relevant details from you concerning the event itself, not to mention your medical bills. A car accident lawyer can factor in your medical bills, and if your injuries will prevent you from performing paying work in the future, this complex financial aspect of the case can be used in your favor during ligation. A lawyer will know how to calculate all that.
While no outcome of litigation or court can be guaranteed here, your lawyer will do their best to advocate your case and seek settlement money from the at-fault party and their insurance company. Your lawyer will probably know what to do if the at-fault party’s insurance company stonewalls you or acts in bad faith, and your lawyer can also handle a complex case that involves multiple parties. Most of these cases do not end up in court, but if it does, you will probably follow your car accident attorney’s advice on how to handle this.
Customizing and Cleaning Your Car
While it is important to carry out routine maintenance for your car such as changing the oil or rotating the tires, there are other, smaller ways to make your car look and perform its best. One good idea is cleaning your car’s body and interior alike, and many Americans neglect to fully clean their vehicle’s interior. But you can get your car clean at any time, and some car magazines may suggest how to make the interior totally fresh. For one thing, pay attention to the car’s carpeting and the floor mats, which are liable to gather dust, dirt, crumbs, stains, mud, and more, and this can discolor the material and make it smell bad, and even allow harmful bacteria to grow there. Use a vacuum or even specialized washers to clean out the carpets and mats, and you can entirely replace old and worn-out mats. Make sure to do this for the trunk, too, and ensure that your car’s air filters are in good shape. Many cars have dirty air inside that may be even dirtier than the air around them while driving.
On a more cosmetic note, if your car is clean and in good shape, you can consult car magazines, blogs, and videos online to get ideas on how to customize your vehicle and truly make it your own. Many car owners simply need a vehicle to drive around in, but auto enthusiasts like to modify their cars and make a personal expression out of them, and you might like that idea, too. The interior is a fine place to start, where your car’s old or simple upholstery can be removed and replaced with luxurious leather or similar materials, and the steering wheel can have a stylish cover fitted onto it. With the right help or technical expertise, you can even have the sound system replaced.
On the outside, a car’s paint job can have decals or stripes added, or the entire car can be repainted a new color. The windows can be swapped out for tinted models for privacy and style, but bear in mind that excessively tinted windows may not be legal. Be sure to check the legal limits for window tinting first. Meanwhile, you can also add body lights to the car or lights in the rims, and you can swap out the plain rims for stylish new ones that are also built to endure the rigors of street racing. And yes, you can even repaint the rims themselves, to any color you choose.
To sum it up, car ownership is a huge responsibility, but if you take your car in for regular repairs and pay close attention to any developing problems, you can keep your vehicle running for a long time to come. Best of all, cars are open to all kinds of modifications, and you can hire some help or even do the mechanical work yourself to make your car a unique piece of art that is a pleasure to drive around.