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Lots of things are always happening at Cougar Accident Repair Centre and we endeavor to keep you informed of our activities on this page.
Don't Become Another Road Fatality Statistic
Are you going to become one of the figures involved in a serious accident this year?

The Department for Transport has released the statistics for road casualties that occurred in 2013. Overall figures are down by two percent compared with 2012 and are at the lowest level since the National Records began in 1926.

But what do these figures mean and what difference do they make to you? Let us put this into perspective for you.

There were unfortunately 1, 713 fatalities caused on the roads, which is devastating but that figure is half as many as in 2000. Although fatalities have decreased, the number of serious injuries was 21, 657. If those figures do not get you thinking, well that equates to 59 injured everyday - a vast number seriously injured every single day!

As road users it is often difficult to understand the scale and consequences associated with dangerous driving, but these statistics help to put the risks into perspective. Almost all of us make mistakes or fall into bad habits and generally they're minor, but could similar mistakes have been the downfall of those seriously injured?

Careless driving isn't just driving under the influence or speeding, it can be as simple as reaching across the seat for a bottle of water at the wrong time. Avoid becoming distracted, as you could cause one of the most devastating situations; a car occupant fatality. Although there has been a 2% decline from 2012 and a staggering 44% decline compared with the 2005 - 2009 average, as road users we must be aware of who we are carrying as passengers and always remember, as the driver, you are responsible for their safety.

Most pedestrians do not expect to be involved in a road accident, but 398 pedestrian deaths happened last year. The results are 5% lower than the previous year, but this highlights the importance of being aware of pedestrians emerging from behind cars and those on pedestrian crossings.

Recent news reports have featured a number of serious accidents involving cyclists and Police and Road Safety Organisations are urging road users to constantly drive safely around cyclists. The figures for cyclist fatalities have seen an increased drop by 8% with only 109 deaths in 2013. The popularity of cycling continues to grow, especially in built up areas, so always keep your distance and allow for sudden changes of direction by cyclists.

So far the results have seen impressive decreases in all areas, but there are still three areas that show concerning results.

Motorcycle deaths have increased by one 1% with 331 deaths in 2013, which is the first increase seen since 2006. Road users have been extensively told to take extra care to look out for motorcyclists, but through campaigns and advertisements, motorcyclists are reminded that just because other motorists are being careful, it doesn't mean they can be reckless by weaving through traffic and speeding.

Motorway deaths have seen a 14% increase to 100 fatalities, which is the first rise to happen in eight years. This shows there is a serious issue with motorway safety, as there has also been a 1% increase in serious injuries. Remember that when you're travelling at 70mph the impact is going to be more forceful; so keep your distance, watch your lane discipline and adjust your speed according to warning signs.

Statistics put into perspective the potential and very real dangers that are posed by being a road user, and the reality that driving dangerously can take lives. So please take care!
How To Avoid Expensive End of Lease Charges
We recently released a survey on the topic of car leases and in particular the potential issues surrounding excessive charges at the end of the lease. There had been reports from customers that lease companies were charging extortionate prices for damage that they deemed to be over and above normal wear and tear.

We wanted to understand whether this was an ongoing issue and what level of charges the lease companies were imposing for what types of damage.

From the gathered results, it seems that this is in fact not an issue for the majority of those people who have leased a vehicle. In fact, 94% of respondents said they would lease a vehicle again in future.

Although this is fantastic news, there were some people that had encountered issues with end of lease arrangements. Some of the major points that were picked up on were:

� There is work to be done by lease companies, in ensuring customers understand and are aware of the end of lease arrangements. A quarter of respondents were unaware of the applicable charges if the vehicle was returned damaged.

� Some form of damage (scratches, dents etc) happens on more than a third of vehicles, therefore this issue affects a significant proportion of lease customers.

� Two thirds of people still rely on the lease company to carry out any needed repairs.

� Those who allowed the lease company to carry out repairs were charged 200 - 300 for minor scratches and dents and around �450 to repair alloy wheels as well.

So if you are leasing a car, it is important to check with your leasing company what the arrangements are for returning the vehicle, and make sure you understand the prices they will charge you. To avoid expensive charges, either have the damage repaired by a reputable Bodyshop, or have the damage assessed by the lease company, then repaired by a Bodyshop.

If cars are checked and repaired by Cougar Accident Repair Centre, then the typical cost for scratches, dents and alloy wheels will be �60 and for minor paintwork repairs around �140.

If your car is approaching the end of its lease, call Cougar on 01582 411120 and request a FREE End of Lease Assessment. You will be told what damage there is and how much Cougar will charge to repair it. You can then compare Cougar's price with the lease company's proposed charges and find the cheapest option. You have nothing to lose and you could save up to 70% on repairs!
Five Tips for Driving in Dramatically Changing Weather
Even though we're going into June and the weather should be consistently hot, by now we should all be used to the ever-changing British weather, which none of us can escape. Recently the weather has been like a moody teenager - constantly changing, from beautiful sunshine to chilly winds and heavy down pours. This can cause very dangerous driving conditions. Here are five tips to remember when driving in the changing weather, to ensure your safety:

1. Plan, rather than presume
Just because you've left the house with the sun shining and the sky clear and it's a lovely temperature, doesn't mean it is going to stay that way. If you can, always check the weather beforehand so you can prepare yourself for any changes that may happen throughout the day. If you don't have time, just keep in mind that the weather could suddenly change from sun to a storm, without any warning.

2. Don't get washed away
When we pass through June, most of us assume it will be sunny constantly until the end of summer, but rain in June is all too common and it can be risky to drive in, especially if you've been caught off guard. Make sure your wipers are working correctly - you wouldn't want a sudden downpour to blur your view and cause an accident.

3. Accessorise for all weathers
The sun puts us all in a daze, and makes us forget that other weather conditions could be around the corner. Always carry your sunglasses as glare can be almost blinding to drivers, but also take your coat or something warm. If the temperature dropped, you wouldn't want to be distracted and cold - so prepare for both.

4. Keep your eye on the numbers
The motorway is a fast paced place to drive, which is fine when the sun is shining and you can see everything ahead of you, but if it suddenly starts to rain, everything changes. Doing the speed limit is fine on a sunny day, but when that rain comes down, you may need to drop your speed. Remember conditions affect stopping speeds.

5. Don't tire out your tyres
We always check our tyres throughout winter, because of the harsh conditions, but the summer is the time when we think everything works without being checked. Rain makes the road slippery, so you need to make sure your tyres are at the right air pressure and have good grip. Even though the sun has been shining, the wind has also been blowing. Wind can affect driving seriously, causing some drivers to swerve - having the correct tyres will help with this. It's not only the snow you need to prepare for.

The main point is to just remember the weather is currently dramatically changing throughout the day, from glorious sun to hail storms and furious winds. Keep yourself safe and don't let that feel good sunshine deceive you.
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