Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Teens Improving Some Areas of Distracted Driving, Studies Reveal

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

by on Apr.18, 2018

Teen drivers are still texting and driving at alarming rates, but those rates are coming down slightly.

If there is a “symbol” for distracted driving, it’s the texting-while-driving teenager barreling down the road. While crashes remain the single largest cause of death for teens, things are improving in some areas.

A recent American Automobile Association poll revealed that 94% of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, while 35% of those polled admitted to still committing the act. That’s an improvement in terms of cutting down on that behavior.

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. Distracted driving is the cause of a quarter of all crashes, but that number jumps to 58% when teenagers are involved. It takes only three seconds for a driver’s attention to be diverted for a crash to occur – an issue that is exacerbated in teens who don’t have years of driving experience. (more…)

Summer Driving Season Calls for Automotive Check Up

AAA recommends a BET on your vehicle.

by on Apr.17, 2018

AAA suggests getting your vehicle looked at before taking any summer trips.

The summer driving season is getting closer, although a look out one’s window may contradict that statement, and that means more driving and, more than likely, some sort of long-distance family trip.

While most folks start preparing for the inevitable rise in gas prices that will add costs to a trip, AAA warns that the majority of travelers should expect some sort of car trouble or breakdown while traveling the U.S.

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A new analysis of AAA roadside data shows that vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road compared to newer vehicles and on top of that, the odds of needing a tow quadruples. (more…)

Toyota, Lexus Adding V2X Tech to Vehicles Starting 2021

Brands hope to accelerate development of technology.

by on Apr.16, 2018

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, said the company plans to equip Toyota and Lexus vehicles with V2X tech in 2021.

Though some vehicles already utilize V2X communication, Toyota and Lexus plan to advance the technology further by introducing it into their lineups beginning in 2021 and rolling out across their portfolios by the mid-2020s.

The company announced today that its Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) systems will use the technology to talk to other vehicles (V2V) and infrastructure (V2I) in hopes of cutting down on collisions, injuries and fatalities.

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“By allowing vehicles’ intelligent systems to collaborate more broadly and effectively through DSRC technology, we can help drivers realize a future with zero fatalities from crashes, better traffic flow and less congestion,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), in a statement. (more…)

Family of Tesla Model X Fatality Hires Law Firm, Plans to Sue

San Franciso-based law firm points to Autopilot as cause of death.

by on Apr.12, 2018

A fatal March crash involving a Tesla Model S in Mountain View, California. Pic courtesy KTVU.

As the investigation into the death of a Model X owner continues, Tesla is taking a familiar stance when it comes to where the fault lies in the collision with a concrete median: the driver.

Walter Huang died in a crash and vehicle fire in a Model X near Mountain View, California, last month. The family hired law firm Minami Tamaki LLP to explore legal options, and the firms said it believes the Autopilot feature in the electric carmaker’s vehicle probably caused his death.

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Tesla notes that according to its readings from the vehicle, Huang did not follow the procedure for using Autopilot. The company said he went longer than six seconds before touching the steering wheel. The system requires drivers to touch the wheel every five seconds. (more…)

FCA Continuing Diesel Settlement Talks with DOJ, CARB

Discussions centering on potential penalties for automaker.

by on Apr.11, 2018

The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is part of the group of vehicles that allegedly used a cheat device to beat emissions tests.

Despite repeatedly denying any wrongdoing, Fiat Chrysler is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department and California Air Resources Board to reach a settlement about accusations it used illegal used software to beat diesel emissions tests.

The discussions, which according to multiple reports, are very far along, address allegations that FCA used the software, in a manner similar to Volkswagen’s diesel testing cheat device, for 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles – mostly light trucks – sold since 2014.

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According to Reuters, Ken Feinberg, an adviser in the process, at a federal court hearing in San Francisco revealed that government lawyers and Fiat Chrysler were swapping documents as part of the settlement process, which was moving “at a rather swift pace.” (more…)

Uber CEO Says Autonomous Testing Done Until NTSB Investigation Complete

Company reached a settlement with victim's family.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company wouldn't resume testing its self-driving cars until the NTSB was complete.

Uber is tackling one issue at a time after one of its autonomous test vehicle collided with and killed a pedestrian outside of Phoenix last month, according to CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

He said right now the company is cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of the event.

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“Right now our total effort is helping them out and we’ll figure out what we do afterward,” he said, adding that self-driving cars “ultimately will make the world much, much safer.” (more…)

Distracted Driving Problem? Nope, It’s an Epidemic, Study Shows

Two of three drivers with phones use them behind the wheel.

by on Apr.10, 2018

Distracted driving behavior may be much worse than government regulators have reported.

It’s not your imagination. In spite of concerted efforts by federal agencies and safety advocacy groups, Americans are spending more time than ever using their phones while behind the wheel.

According to a new study by Zendrive, a San Francisco-based startup that tracks phone use for auto insurers and ride-hailing fleets, two out of every three drivers uses their cell phones at least once during a trip in their vehicle.

Industry News!

This can be as simple as taking a phone call or as dangerous as texting. Zendrive monitored 4.5 million drivers from December through February, who travelled 7.1 billion miles, comparing the results with the year-earlier period. (more…)

Greensboro, NC and Honolulu Top Best/Worst Places to Drive

GPS app Waze releases annual driver satisfaction survey.

by on Apr.09, 2018

Greensboro, North Carolina, was topped the Waze Driver Satisfaction Index for 2017.

Drivers in every city in the country can find something that makes commuting around their town or metropolis the worst or best, but GPS app Waze has compiled a list of the best and worst cities to drive in the U.S. for 2017.

Called Waze’s annual Driver Satisfaction Index, the company uses driving data from its millions of users across America to rank the 61 best and worst metropolitan areas. The best? Greensboro, North Carolina while the worst is Honolulu, Hawaii.

Industry News!

Greensboro topped the list of best places to drive, which is determined using six different metrics, with a score of 8.7. At the other end was Honolulu with a 4.69 score. The U.S. average is 7.55, according to Waze. (more…)

Ford Recalls 350,000 Trucks, SUVs and Mustangs

Automaker issues two recalls for transmission problems.

by on Apr.06, 2018

The 2018 Ford F-150 is subject to a recall due to a problem that results in the truck being in a different gear than the driver selected.

Ford announced it is recalling more than 350,000 F-Series trucks and Expeditions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico due to a potentially unseated transmission gear shift cable clip, which cause the vehicle to be in a different gear than is shown.

The action covers the 2018 F-150 pickup and Expedition large SUV with 10-speed automatic transmissions as well as 2018 F-650 and F-750 trucks with six-speed transmissions.

Safety News!

The problem stems from a clip that locks the gear shift cable to the transmission that may not be fully seated. The partially seated clip or a clip that becomes dislodged may allow the transmission to be in a gear that is different from the gear shift position selected by the driver, the automaker says. (more…)

Goodyear Tire Defect Linked to as Many as 95 Motorhome Deaths and Injuries

NHTSA launches probe after judge releases sealed documents.

by on Apr.06, 2018

A motorhome crash that may have been linked to the Goodyear G159 tires.

Defective Goodyear motorhome tires may have led to as many as 95 deaths and injuries, according to a new probe launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The potential problem, which played out over the past two decades, came to light after a Phoenix judge unsealed previously closed settlement agreements. The tires, which were sold between 1996 and 2003, were initially designed for use on delivery trucks, not for vehicles operating at freeway speeds, according to the data.

Safety First!

“That information — primarily concerning the tire’s design, its testing, the decision to market it for use on motor homes, and the adjustment data generated by consumer experience with it — should be made public because it relates to and reveals a substantial potential risk to public health or safety,” Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Hannah ruled in releasing the information that had been sealed as part of settlements between Goodyear and victims.

(more…)

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