Posts Tagged ‘auto safety’

The Car Book Offers Up Best Bets for 2018

Toyota leads Best Bets for 2018 followed by Honda and Acura.

by on Apr.04, 2018

The Toyota Camry was named one of The Car Book's Best Bets for 2018.

Every year, more than 15 million new vehicles are purchased in the U.S. – and lately its much higher than that – and with all of sales come options. Options, options and more options.

For 38 years, Jack Gillis and the Center of Automotive Safety have partnered to develop the Car Book, which has been helping buyers sort through those thousands of different vehicles and equipment levels to determine the best vehicle for a buyer in any given year.

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The book provides today’s car buyer with our unique crash test ratings, comparative complaint ratings, and all of the information needed to make a smart, safe and informed vehicle purchase. In addition to in-depth ratings the 2018 vehicles the site includes over 1,000 used car ratings going back five years. (more…)

Highway Fatalities Dip After Two-Year Surge

“Complacency is killing us.”

by on Feb.15, 2018

More than 40,000 Americans died on the highway in 2017, despite a modest dip in fatalities.

Preliminary figures reveal that U.S. highway deaths declined nearly 1% last year but, at 40,100 fatalities, there’s no room for “complacency,” warned the National Safety Council.

Last year’s numbers were still significantly higher than in 2014 which marked the end of a decade-long decline in traffic deaths. And it is still the second year in a row that there were more than 40,000 Americans killed on the highway. The question, according to the NSC, is whether 2017’s decline was just brief a respite or the start of another era of improved automotive safety.

Breaking News!

“The price we are paying for mobility is 40,000 lives each year,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “This is a stark reminder that our complacency is killing us. The only acceptable number is zero; we need to mobilize a full court press to improve roadway safety.”

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2 Fed Safety Teams Head to California Tesla Crash Probe

Was drive using Autopilot when Model S crashed into fire truck?

by on Jan.25, 2018

An LA TV station caught the aftermath of a crash involving a Tesla Model S and a firetruck.

Two separate teams of federal safety investigators have been dispatched to California to examine what happened when a Tesla Model S crashed into a firetruck on a suburban Los Angeles freeway on Monday, the agencies aiming to find out if the incident happened while the battery sedan was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

This marks the second time both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have examined a Tesla crash to see if the maker’s self-driving technology may have malfunctioned.

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In the first case, 40-year-old Joshua Brown was killed in a Florida crash in May 2009 when his Model S failed to stop when a semi-truck turned in front of it. The former Navy SEAL was ruled at least partially at fault for failing to take evasive action, but the NTSB also determined that flaws in the design of the Tesla Autopilot system contributed to the crash.

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High-Tech Safety Gear Preventing Crashes – But Raising Insurance Rates

Replacement parts drive up repair costs when there is a crash.

by on Jan.23, 2018

While advanced safety gear may prevent accidents it can run up repair costs when a crash occurs.

New advanced driver assistance systems like blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning have been shown to reduce accidents and prevent injuries and fatalities. So, why are motorists getting hammered by rate hikes, rather than getting discounts when they buy cars equipped with the new technologies?

The problem, according to industry experts, is that once a vehicle actually is involved in a crash replacing something as seemingly basic as a mirror can be far more costly than motorists might expect because of the sensors all those new safety systems require.

Consumer News!

And forget trying to make repairs yourself. Where do-it-yourselfers might once have replaced a broken sideview mirror or even a bumper on their own, the sensors now integrated into those parts need to be carefully calibrated to ensure they work properly.

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GM Agrees to $120m Ignition Switch Scandal Settlement

Money going to 49 states and D.C.

by on Oct.20, 2017

One of the defective GM ignition switch units now blamed for causing at least 124 deaths.

General Motors has agreed to pay out $120 million to settle a lawsuit filed by 49 states and the District of Columbia over its handling of an ignition switch defect linked to at least 124 deaths and 275 injuries.

The problem was revealed in early 2014 and eventually led to the recall of 2.6 million vehicles and the firing of more than a dozen GM employees who either failed to act on early warning signs or attempted to sweep the problem under the carpet.

The Last Word!

“GM will continue ongoing improvements it’s made to ensure the safety of its vehicles,” a spokesman for the automaker said. That includes changes ordered by CEO Mary Barra after the problem was first revealed, as well as efforts that were agreed to as part of a settlement with the federal government in December 2015.

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Driver Assistance Tech Saving Lives, Preventing Crashes

Study finds big benefits from Lane Warning, Blind Spot Detection.

by on Aug.23, 2017

Cars using Lane Departure Warning typically use cameras to spot lane markers.

New, high-tech driver assistance systems like Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection, or LDW and BLIS, are helping sharply reduce the number of crashes on U.S. roadways, in the process curbing injuries and reducing deaths.

Those and other technologies, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, are becoming increasingly common on today’s new vehicles and two new studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggest they may have been a factor in the recent decline in U.S. automotive fatalities.

Safety News!

Some safety experts believe that what are collectively known as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, or ADAS, are critical in offsetting an epidemic of distracted driving crashes, though there are also concerns that motorists might come to rely too heavily on the technologies and not be as vigilant as possible.

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Not Buckling Up in Back? You’re Putting Everyone in Car at Risk

“The laws of physics aren’t suspended in the back seat.”

by on Aug.03, 2017

In a crash an unbelted back-seat occupant can fly around the vehicle, even out the windshield.

More than nine out of 10 Americans use their seatbelts when riding in the front of a car. But that number falls off sharply for rear seat passengers. And that could prove a deadly mistake.

In fact, those who don’t buckle up in back not only increase their own risk of being killed or seriously injured in a crash but also double the chance that those up front will be killed because they can turn into the equivalent of a human missile, warns the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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“The laws of physics aren’t suspended just because you’ve moved to the back seat,” said Jessica Jermakin, a senior IIHS researcher and author of a new study that found over 1,000 unrestrained back seat passengers were killed in crashes during 2015.

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Fiat Chrysler Recalling 1.33m Vehicles for Fire, Airbag Risks

Two separate problems announced Friday.

by on Jul.14, 2017

A 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, one of the models recalled for a fire risk.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced two separate recalls on Friday that will cover 1.33 million vehicles worldwide.

The two issues involve potential fire risks in a variety of Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep models, as well as faulty airbags that have been fitted into Dodge and Fiat models. Most of the recalls involve vehicles sold in the U.S. market.

Beyond the Headlines!

The announcement by FCA comes at a time when the auto industry has been running record numbers of recalls, including one earlier in the week involving 2.7 million defective Takata airbags. The FCA airbag issue does not involve Takata devices, however.

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Three Large Sedans Earn Top Crash Ratings – But Tesla Model S Falls Short

Small overlap test still a challenge for some manufacturers.

by on Jul.06, 2017

Tesla aces most tests but fell short in the small overlap crash - and the Model S had "poor" headlights.

The Tesla Model S was one of three large sedans to fall short in the latest round of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The trade group also reports that three other large models fared extremely well during a series of tests for crash worthiness, earning the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ ratings.

Safety News!

The poor performance by the Tesla Model S came amidst a series of problems for the electric vehicle maker, and at a time when CEO Elon Musk had hoped to focus on the upcoming launch of the maker’s first mainstream model, the Model 3. Production and sales are set to begin on Friday.

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Most SUV Headlights Fall Short

Only 2 of 37 rated “good” by IIHS.

by on Jun.13, 2017

Even some high-tech "curving" headlamps performed poorly in the new IIHS lighting tests.

The vast majority of midsize SUVs offer headlights that fail to light up the road effectively, according to a newly released study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that found just two vehicles earned a “good” rating and 11 of 37 models tested fell into the “poor category.”

The list of poor performer includes some of the biggest sellers in the segment, such as the Jeep Wrangler, as well as Ford’s Edge and Explorer models. According to the industry trade group, many SUVs do a poor job of lighting the road while others create significant glare for oncoming traffic.

Your Guiding Light!

“We continue to see headlights that compromise safety because they only provide a short view down the road at night,” said Matt Brumbelow, a senior research engineer at IIHS.

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