Do Red Light Cameras Reduce Accidents?

2019-01-30 08:48:35

auto insurance repairs Falconer

Red light runners cause over 700 fatalities every year. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 

Violators make the intersection dangerous for everyone. This includes people on foot, motorcycles, bicycles, and in other cars. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over half the victims killed in crashes caused by red-light runners were not in the violator's vehicle.

Many cities have adopted red light cameras in attempts to reduce red light accidents. If a driver runs a red, it triggers the device to record a picture and video using radar. Then the violator receives a citation in the mail.

Red light camera systems were developed in the Netherlands in the 1960's. They weren't used in the US until New York City adopted them in 1993.

Do Red Light Cameras Make Intersections Safer?

It depends on who you ask. Of course, the private companies that make millions off the systems validate their safety. Some studies have revealed a decrease in accidents at intersections with cameras and even a "spillover" effect of safer no-camera intersections nearby. Yet opponents argue that they are simply a revenue generator with no real benefits. Drivers hate them so much that some political candidates have promised to end red light camera enforcement as a major pillar of their campaign.

Red Light Cameras and Short Yellow Lights?

It was revealed that a red light enforcement company had shortened yellow light duration in Chicago. This turned out to be a dangerous combination. Since drivers were afraid of getting tickets, they began stopping more abruptly when the light turned yellow. Some city officials believe this caused an uptick in rear-end crashes. One driver who protested a citation discovered that the city required yellow lights to be at least three seconds. Judges threw thousands of tickets out where the video showed that the yellow light was less than three seconds.

Getting Rid of Cameras

Miami recently stopped using red light cameras it had been using since 2010. City commissioners—who voted unanimously to discontinue the program—said they wanted to reduce the financial burden on motorists.

Victim advocates disagreed with the decision as did Miami's police union. The union pointed out that they use the photos and videos in crime investigations.

Miami will miss out on a lot of revenue. It was set to rake in $10.5 million dollars from red light violations this year. The company who owns and operates the cameras would have received about 40% of that total.

Do you believe that red light camera enforcement makes communities safer? The auto service team at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair would love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below.

ArticleID 7606

Military Vehicles on the Road Today

2019-01-23 08:45:50

auto service Falconer

Jeep has become a household name for four-wheelers who use them to scale mountains and maneuver over rough terrain. The Mercedes Benz G wagon is another all-terrain vehicle that has become an exceptionally popular luxury SUV. And the Hummer is known for its ominous presence on the road. All three of these cars have a few things in common, but today we’re going to get a little insight on the vital roles each of these smartly-designed vehicles played in war.

The Car That Won World War II

Let us start with Jeep. Back in the heart of World War II, Jeep SUVs were being produced by both Willys-Overland and Ford Motor Company. They were each producing a similar model of the Jeep and both models were made solely for military purposes. This means that not a single Jeep at the time was built for civilian drivers. War officers and commanders relied on the Jeep continually. Jeeps sent to battle were outfitted with huge, mounted rifles, Jeeps with flat bed rears were used to convey goods and wounded soldiers, and Jeeps with extra armor carried important personnel to and from dangerous battle zones. The Jeep was an invaluable asset for troops.

From Military Transport to Suburban Status Symbol

As mentioned above, today the Mercedes G Wagon is considered one of the relatively few luxurious SUVs on the road. Mercedes Benz has taken the big, boxy design and turned it into a modern, well-appointed SUV. But before the G Wagon became so showy, it also was playing a role in combat. What does the G stand for? Geländewagen. Gelandewagen in German translates to "cross-country vehicle." Mercedes engineered the solid G Wagon in the 1970s when the Shah of Iran ordered 20,000 vehicles that could maneuver over any terrain in any climate found anywhere in the world. The G Wagon is currently being used by 63 armies worldwide.

The Gulf War Desert Driver

Lastly is the Hummer which made its debut in 1983. The Pentagon offered $1 billion to AM General Corporation to create 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles also known as Humvees and Hummers. They were utilized in the war in Panama and also the Persian Gulf War. It was intended for transporting troops and cargo in areas away from active combat, but as the nature of warfare changed, it started being used in urban combat. The all-terrain vehicle is no longer used by the US military (production ended in 2010), but there are still many civilian Hummers still on the road.

Though you probably don't need to transport wounded soldiers in your auto, at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair we recognize that you use it for other vital tasks. We are dedicated to making sure your vehicle is always there to carry you through the everyday battles of life. To make an appointment at our Falconer service center, call us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair.

ArticleID 7512

3 Tips For Traffic Court

2019-01-16 08:28:19 car repair Falconer

So you did your best to get out of a violation, but your charm and pleading didn't work. Don’t lose hope, tickets can be dismissed in court. There are several things you can do to improve your odds.

1. Request An Informal Meeting

This may sound crazy, but calling the officer and asking to meet to talk about the fine may work. You help pay the officer's salary, so don’t be afraid to ask to speak with him or her at a convenient time. Be sure to call during work hours at the police department phone number. (That's probably the only number you have, but if you have a cell number from a business card, you don't want to call late.)

If the officer grants your request, be prepared to justify why you should be let off the hook.

Depending on the violation, there are reasons you could be excused from breaking a traffic law. Maybe you crossed the double yellow line to avoid hitting an animal. Or you pulled over on the freeway because your automobile started making loud knocking noises.

Never say you didn't know what the speed limit was. This never works and it is your responsibility to know the speed limit and other traffic laws. 

Help the officer relate to you as a person. Be as respectful as possible. If this is your first offense, ask if you can go to traffic school to avoid having the violation put on your driving record. Let them know you are aware you made a mistake and that you are determined to make it up.

2. Delay The Court Appearance

Delaying the court case can be a successful strategy. This is done by calling the court clerk. Chat a bit by asking questions about the process. Once you have some familiarity with the clerk, ask for a continuance (delay). If the clerk agrees, you will have a few more weeks. You can always ask for another delay as you near that date. In a few weeks, ask again.

Don't be a nuisance for anyone at the court. Be polite and courteous. If you can delay your trial, it will be harder for the officer to remember you or the nature of your violation. This will help your chances. In fact, there is a possibility that the officer will not appear in court. In most cases, if this happens the judge dismisses the violation. This is not a guarantee because state laws vary. But the delay tactic is definitely worth a shot.

You will have two court appearances. The first appearance is for entering your plea. Show up on time dressed suitably. There is no need to wear a suit or a formal dress, but look presentable. It couldn’t hurt to come to another trial beforehand to gauge the level of formality. 

Never enter a plea of guilty. When the judge asks for your plea, candidly say, “I plead not guilty, your honor.” You will then be given a court date.

Once you have the court date, you can again use your charisma with the court clerk to try and delay the trial. Say you need time to prepare your defense.

3. Question The Citation

Study the details of the law you are accused of breaking. The state will have to prove that you violated at least one of the elements of the law. If they cannot prove that, the judge must let you off. 

For instance, if you were cited with distracted driving while using an electronic device, the state will have to prove that you really were using the device AND that you were distracted. Challenge them if you don’t think they have the proof.

Motorists can question the legitimacy of the stop. If you were pulled over for illegally crossing the center line, ask if a video exists.

If you have the time and can’t afford to have your car insurance go up, it is worth trying to fight your ticket in court.

Thanks for visiting the I-86 Truck & Auto Repair blog. We want to provide you with the highest quality automotive service in Falconer. You can reach us at 716-665-2501.

Disclaimer: I-86 Truck & Auto Repair does not condone deliberate illegal behavior behind the wheel. But if you believe you were cited unfairly, we wish you good luck in getting your ticket dismissed!

ArticleID 7746

Hydrophobic Windshield Coating Improves Visibility

2019-01-09 09:02:57 car repair Falconer

If you've ever been caught in a downpour while behind the wheel you know how perilous it can be. Your visibility is compromised while road conditions become dangerously slippery.

There are some preventative treatments you can take to help keep your windshield clear during torrential rain or wet snow. The first is to have reliable wiper blades and the second is to apply a hydrophobic glass coating.

Just as the name describes, hydrophobic glass repels water. Windshields treated with this sealant cause water to bead up more quickly so it doesn't block your view of the pavement and the traffic around you.

Hydrophobic glass coating not only helps when visibility is obstructed, it can increase the life of windshield wiper blades. It does this by minimizing the workload and smoothing out any imperfections in the glass. This curtails the friction your blades encounter.

Some auto owners use hydrophobic coating mainly because of its self-cleaning properties.

Another windshield coating that some car owners use is a hydrophilic coating. This coating pushes the water off in sheets and can chemically break down dirty water when it is exposed to the sun. This results in less grime left on your windshield. Hydrophilic coatings, however, will not improve your view of the road during a thunderstorm. That is why many auto owners choose hydrophobic coatings.

There is a range of prices for hydrophobic coating. DIY brands run anywhere between $50-$200. The effectiveness of the more affordable brands is the same as higher priced brands, but the coatings do not last as long and will wear off earlier.

Having a professional apply the coating will ensure that it is done properly, will be more effective, and last longer. Call I-86 Truck & Auto Repair for details about windshield coating services. Professional treatments are usually worth the extra cost. Do your vehicle (and yourself) a favor and apply some hydrophobic coating to your windshield.

ArticleID 7720

Slow Down! Watch Out For These 8 Small Town Speed Traps

2019-01-02 08:23:05

automotive maintenance and repair Falconer

Most Americans who have driven in rural areas are familiar with the shady "small town speed trap"— a stretch of road or relatively small location where local law enforcement unfairly targets drivers. Before we present our list, we want to assure you that I-86 Truck & Auto Repair does not advise motorists to travel at unsafe speeds. If you need quality automotive service, however, we invite you to drive safely to I-86 Truck & Auto Repair in Falconer and we will take care of you.

Here are 8 communities that warrant vigilant adherance to posted speed limits.

1. Waldo, Florida
Population 1,015

The community of Waldo straddles Highway 301 and covers a mere two square miles—but don't let its minuscule size fool you. The speed trap was deemed so nefarious that AAA decided to post warnings to auto owners. And the local police force (one officer?) does not have a reputation for mercy. A woman in labor reported that she was detained for more than a half hour after being nailed for speeding.

2. Cornersville, Tennessee
Population 1,000

"According to a state comptroller audit, the small town of 1,000 people, with roughly 200 homes, got about 50 percent of its revenue—nearly $250,000—from traffic citations, fines and fees."

3. St. Ann, Missouri
Population 13,020

The hustling St. Ann police force gloats of writing, on average, a ticket every hour, 24/7/365.

4. Mantua, Utah
Population 694

It is reported that one-third of the Mantua's $649,000 annual revenue comes from 2,000 hapless drivers nabbed for speeding on Highway 91 that runs through this very small Utah town.

5. Selma, Texas
Population 207

This small town procures about $168,000 annually from lead-footed drivers. If you do the math, you discover that this amounts to an amazing $800 for every resident.

6. Woodworth, Louisiana
Population 2,024

Though this community is infamous for its speed trap, apparently Woodworth police are expanding their repertoire of crafty sting techniques.

"Instead of stopping people for speeding, the new tactic is for the officer to sit on the side of the road with their lights flashing. If you do not get into the other lane, they stop you for improper passing an emergency vehicle."

7. Hopewell, Virginia
Population 22,196

"Hopewell's controversial 'million dollar mile' generated $1.6 million last year. It's the only program in the state to hire a dozen part-time workers to perform round-the-clock patrols on the interstate."

8. Haverford College, Pennsylvania
Population 48,498

With almost 50k residents, many individuals would consider this a medium-sized municipality, but due to its infamy, we decided to include it anyway.

The speed limit here is a curious 13 mph, which many automobiles can exceed while idling. The township has a history of being unapologetically open about planting a speed trap; the minutes of a 1965 city council meeting includes the following:

"A speed trap will be set up on Lawson Avenue to control speeding and requested press to publicize same.",%201965.pdf

Consider yourself warned.

Note: The population statistics listed are based either on the 2010 census or more recent estimates.

ArticleID 7434

Are Used Car Salesmen Crazy?

2018-12-26 08:45:45

used car inspection Falconer

Local TV ads for used car sellers usually have a couple of things in common: they are low budget and they star a salesman who is selling cars so cheaply that he must be out of his mind. It's been this way for years, but why? Who came up with the idea to feign insanity for the sake of car sales?

Earl Muntz Capitalized on Wartime Shortages

The answer is Earl "Madman" Muntz. Muntz began selling used cars in 1941 in southern California. Because of World War II, no new cars were manufactured, so the used car business was coming into its own.

Muntz bought cars in the midwest and then paid servicemen to drive them to California on their way to report to military service. California prices were significantly higher than midwest prices.

In addition to a brilliant business model, he worked with advertiser Mike Shore to come up with an attention-getting campaign. The "Madman" was born.

Billboards depicted Muntz as Napoleon (apparently, that was a thing) and claimed he was crazy for selling automobiles for such low prices. Newspaper ads read, "I wanna give 'em away, but Mrs. Muntz won't let me--SHE'S CRAZY!" Manic radio commercials filled the airwaves and "Madman" Muntz became a household name.

Woofers and Tweeters

Later, Muntz went into the TV business and popularized car stereos. He was continually innovating in the fields of electronics. and automobiles. But his greatest cultural legacy will always be the crazy pitchman persona that keeps local television interesting.

If you are looking to buy a used vehicle from either a crazy person or a sane one, bring it to us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair. We can give you a used vehicle inspection to help you make a good decision on which automobile is right for you. We would also be happy to assist you with all of your auto care needs. Call us at 716-665-2501.

ArticleID 7642

Your Often Overlooked Car Lights

2018-12-19 07:34:54

headlight restoration Falconer

You probably only consider your car's lights when a bulb needs to be replaced or when your headlights get covered in thick snow (or mud, for you adventure seekers). But the lights on your car are worth another look.


Did you know that your headlights are specifically aligned for the country you are driving in? It's true! For those of us who drive on the right-hand side, the light that comes out is aimed down and a little to the right. This allows for visibility to see road signs and helps you avoid blinding oncoming drivers.

High Beams

It's important to only turn on your high beam or full beam headlights on vacant stretches of road. If any other car appears, turn them off.

Fog Lights

Like high beams, you should only use fog lights in certain conditions. Can you guess which conditions? If you guessed foggy conditions then you are right! These lights are very helpful, but when used when there is no fog other drivers can be blinded.


Hazard lights are typically used when your car is stopped on the side of the road. These lights will help other drivers notice your vehicle and adjust their driving accordingly. The usage of hazard lights while driving differs from state to state, so be aware of the laws where you live.

Interior Lights

Lights inside of the car are so nifty, especially when you are traveling with a child who seems to drop their favorite toy on the floor roughly every three minutes. While these lights can save you from a tantrum, you should not use them for extended periods of time.

If you have any questions about the lighting systems in your car, please come and visit us at I-86 Truck & Auto Repair. Ask us about a headlight restoration service.

ArticleID 7620

What Used Car Buyers Should Know About Salvage Titles

2018-12-12 07:44:43

car repair Falconer

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair, occasionally we carry out a used car inspection on a car with a salvage title. When talking to people who are considering whether to buy a vehicle with a salvage title, we have discovered that there is some confusion regarding the issue. In today's article, we review the subject of salvage titles.

What Is A Salvage Title?

Salvage titles can be confusing because state laws vary on many issues concerning motor vehicle titles. Adding to the confusion, auto insurers have different policies regarding salvage titles.

A title that has been marked as "salvage," "rebuilt," "totaled," "junked," or a similar term, could designate one of the following scenarios:

The car was involved in a flood, fire, vandalism, or serious collision
the cost of repairing the damage would be more than 70%-90% of its value prior to the event in question
an insurance agency has deemed the car a complete loss due to the damage.

Note that state motor vehicle agencies and auto insurers may have different definitions of what constitutes a total loss.

Most experts discourage used automobile buyers from buying a car with a salvage title. However, if the price is very, very low, say, less than half of the blue book value pre-accident, and the buyer fully understands what the car has been through, a salvage title vehicle may make sense for some buyers. Remember though, the price needs to be really, really low. Bring the car into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair and we will perform a thorough used automobile inspection and tell you exactly what condition the automobile is really in.

What Is Salvage Title Fraud?

Suppose you are looking at a used auto with an unusually low price that does not have a salvage title. This doesn't necessarily mean the clean title is legit. Unscrupulous auto scammers can misrepresent a salvage car by moving it to another state, reporting a missing title, and re-registering the automobile with a clean title.

If the scammer is hiding the true history of the car, you can bet he/she doesn't have high standards when it comes to the repairs necessary to make the vehicle drivable. Unsuspecting buyers who think they are getting the deal of the century can end up losing a lot of money and/or driving a car that is extremely unsafe.

Car clipping is a related scam. Unethical auto repair operations piece together damaged autos and fail to disclose that they are composed of parts of salvage cars.

You Will Probably Need To Pay Cash

Be aware that it may be difficult or impossible to obtain financing or insurance for an automobile with a salvage title.

Buyer Beware

Bottom line? Be very, very wary when shopping for used autos. Always order a vehicle history report. Scrutinize the title and compare it with the history report. If the vehicle has been shipped from overseas, be skeptical. If something seems fishy, it probably is.

As was mentioned before, protect yourself by bringing any used vehicle you are contemplating into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair so our experts can examine it. We will give you a professional opinion regarding the car's true mechanical condition so you will know exactly what you are getting into.

ArticleID 7555

When Smarter Isn't Safer

2018-12-05 08:36:04

infotainment service Jamestown

Remember when the dashboard of your auto only had an AM/FM radio and a heater? (If you are younger than 40, you probably don't.) Can you harken back when you could only see a speedometer and odometer through the steering wheel? Those days seem to be long gone as car manufacturers continue to add smart features to our cars.

To avoid a mess of knobs and buttons all over the place, consoles are usually designed around a central touchscreen. There is a screen to control the stereo, navigation system, paired devices such as cell phones, the air conditioning, and more!

This configuration lets you access everything in one location. But is there a disadvantage to these touchscreens? Many safety experts say yes.

Your Fingers Can't Feel What Screen You Are On

The main issue with these onboard computer screens is that they aren't physically intuitive. Knobs and analog buttons can easily be operated without looking at the unit you're controlling. When you turn a knob and hear the fan get louder, you know you've cranked up the AC.

The main touchscreen lets you control the stereo, but you probably have to navigate to the climate control screen before you can control the AC or heater. It's hard to know which screen you are on unless you glance over at it. It's virtually impossible to memorize every screen.

Carmakers are working to improve touchscreen design and interface. Haptic controls and voice command features can increase safety without sacrificing convenience.

Be Safer Today

But what can you do today to be safer with the touchscreen you have? Take twenty minutes and familiarize yourself with the screens and how they work while parked. Pair your phone and try to use voice command when available. Also, make it a habit to set up your navigation system and choose a stereo setting before you pull out of your garage.

At I-86 Truck & Auto Repair we want all of our customers to be safe and comfortable in their cars. For infotainment system service, call us at 716-665-2501 to speak with a service advisor!

ArticleID 7628

5 Warning Signs of a Failing Transmission

2018-11-28 08:08:52 auto diagnostics and repair Falconer

Your transmission is pretty important.

What is a transmission?

A transmission takes power from a car's engine, transmits it to the axle, and causes the wheels to move. 

It is one of the most complicated systems in a vehicle. This engineering wonder combines hydraulics and computer-controlled electronics. And a whole bunch of parts. 

You probably know that a vehicle either has an automatic transmission or a manual transmission. 

With an automatic transmission, the driver only operates a gas pedal and a brake pedal. This is because the transmission changes gears on its own. A manual has both these pedals plus a clutch. With a manual transmission, the driver gets to change the gears. Or "has to" depending on whether or not you like to do it.

What makes up a transmission? It is a long list: 

  • Gear shifter
  • Shift Rod
  • Shift fork
  • Clutch
  • Planetary gears
  • Torque converter
  • Oil pump
  • Hydraulic system
  • Valve body
  • Computer controls
  • Governor
  • Throttle cable
  • Vacuum modulator
  • Seals and gaskets

Transmission repairs can run anywhere from $100 to upwards of $3,000. Therefore, it is vital to know the top five warning signs of a failing transmission:

1. Transmission slipping: if it feels like your vehicle can't change gears (automatic).

2. Rough shifts: if it is more difficult to change gears (manual) or you hear clunking sounds.

3. Delayed engagement: if your auto hesitates before going into drive.

4. Fluid leak: watch for any leaks or spots of fluid under your automobile. If you want to pinpoint where the fluid is coming from, put some cardboard under it. Let your I-86 Truck & Auto Repair know where it's leaking when you bring it in for transmission service. 

5. Warning light: if your check engine light comes on, it could be alerting you to a transmission issue. (They aren't called "warning" lights for nothing!)

Bring your car into I-86 Truck & Auto Repair for transmission service. You don't want to wait until you have to replace the whole transmission.

ArticleID 7737
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