Posts Tagged ‘safety news’

Pot Smokers Not Only Thing High on 4/20 – Traffic Accidents Too

New study shows double-digit percent increase in traffic fatalities.

by on Feb.13, 2018

Marijuana advocates celebrate "4/20" annually by smoking pot. Researchers say that traffic fatalities rise by 12% that day. Photo credit: Daily Camera

Each year on April 20, thousands of people in the United States celebrate 4/20, the date 2o- years ago that High Times, a marijuana advocacy publication, designated to celebrate what it perceived as the virtues of smoking pot.

However, a new study shows that it’s not only people that get high on that day, traffic fatality rates get high(er) as well.

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Actually the results of the study are more educated guess than stone cold fact. Researchers cannot not fully determine if marijuana-intoxicated drivers caused the rise in vehicle deaths on 4/20, but they appear to be the most likely culprits, according to John Staples, an internist and researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. (more…)

Safety Titan Claybrook Wants to Rein in Autonomous Vehicles

Former NHTSA leader says self-driving cars have too many shortcomings.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Joan Claybrook (left) during a panel discussion in Detroit said she doesn't trust autonomous vehicles and they should be tightly regulated.

Self-driving cars are not yet roadworthy and could pose a lethal threat to motorists unless they are carefully regulated said Joan Claybrook, the former chief of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and longtime critic of the auto industry’s safety record.

“The excitement around autonomous cars is very interesting, we have had massive problems with failures in the auto industry with airbags and with the GM ignition switch and they have killed people,” Claybrook said during a panel discussion on Autonomous Vehicles and regulation held as part of Automobili-D sponsored by Politico and held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show.

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In addition, for a long time to come what NHTSA has deemed as Level 3 autonomous vehicles that can cruise on auto pilot under certain circumstances but require driver intervention in an emergency situation, will mix with conventional vehicles on streets and highways. (more…)

Hyundai, Subaru Lead in New IIHS Safety Ratings

New passenger offset tests lowers number of top-ranked vehicles.

by on Dec.07, 2017

IIHS President Adrian Lund explains the testing processes implemented for the "Top Pick Plus" ranking.

With new tougher standards in place for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted “2018 Top Pick Plus” rating, just 15 vehicles earned the distinction compared with 38 for 2017.

The safety advocacy group, which performs a variety of crash tests on vehicles, added two new tests in the past year: one for improved headlights, which was included in the 2017 “Top Pick Plus” ranking, but not in the “Top Pick” results, and the new passenger-side small overlap front crash.

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Overall, Hyundai posted six vehicles and Subaru four in the “Top Pick Plus” category. In addition to the 15 “Top Pick Plus” designees, there were 47 “Top Pick” vehicles. Toyota led the pack with 11 vehicles in the “Top Pick Plus” and “Top Pick” categories combined with Hyundai (9) and Subaru (7) taking the next two spots. (more…)

Infotainment Systems on Par With Cell Phones for Distracted Driving

Study reveals cars already have plenty of things to distract drivers.

by on Oct.05, 2017

Newer infotainment systems often require drivers to avert their eyes from the roads, leading to more dangerous driving.

For so long, researchers have focused on how cellular phones facilitate a variety of distracted driving behaviors, such as texting and driving. A new study now shows that vehicles themselves can be a distraction.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a report suggesting that the latest infotainment systems in new vehicle promote distracted driving behaviors and on a scale greater than cell phones.

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Fatal crashes are on the rise in the U.S., and distracted driving is a major reason for the increase, the foundation believes. Deaths involving distracted driving jumped 8.8% to 3,477 in 2015, the latest year in which statistics were available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (more…)

Hybrids, EVs Earn Strong IIHS Safety Marks

Safety group gives top ratings to Volt, Prius Prime.

by on Feb.01, 2017

The 2017 Chevy Volt earned the IIHS's Top Safety Pick Plus award along with the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

It appears that great gas mileage – or no gas mileage at all – and safety can go hand-in-hand, according to the latest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing results.

The group recently gave the Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius Prime its top scores, Top Safety Pick Plus, to the two plug in hybrids. It also took the time to rate the Tesla Model S and BMW i3 all-electric vehicles and noted that those fell just short of earning that “Plus” distinction.

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“There’s no reason the most efficient vehicles can’t also be among the safest,” says David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. The Prius Prime is the more miserly of the two getting 54 mpg while the Volt came in at 42 mpg. (more…)

Small SUVs Leaving Drivers in The Dark

IIHS tests reveal poor performance by most utes.

by on Jul.13, 2016

The 2016 Honda HR-V is selling well, but performs poorly in new headlight testing from IIHS.

The next safety frontier has been breached: headlights. If you drive a small sport-utility vehicle, odds are yours aren’t good enough based on recent testing by one of the nation’s leading automotive safety organizations.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that an overwhelming number of small SUVs have inadequate headlights. The organization said that just four of the 21 vehicles tested achieved a rating of “acceptable.” None of the SUVs received a rating of “good.”

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While the government has a minimum standard for headlights – and all of the entrants meet the government mandate – IIHS claims the testing methodology employed by the government doesn’t provide accurate results. (more…)

Independence Day Weekend Expected to Set New Fatality Record

NHTSA looking a ways to cut trend of rising traffic deaths.

by on Jul.05, 2016

After years of declines, highway fatalities were up 7.7% 2015 – the second year in a row for an increase – leaving officials to figure how to solve the problem.

While final figures have yet to be tallied, safety experts were forecasting the July 4 weekend would see an increase over last year’s fatality and injury totals.

In fact, the National Safety Council predicted as many as 409 Americans would be killed on this country’s roadways during the long weekend, and another 49,500 injured. If proven to be true, they’ll be the highest numbers since 2008.

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On average, there are 37% more highway fatalities on July 4 than the average July day, according to a study of federal accident data. And when traffic increases, so does the death toll, according to the NSC. (more…)

Senators Pressuring Automakers to Improve Seat Safety

Market, Blumenthal send letter to 17 makers asking for information about seats.

by on May.27, 2016

Sen. Richard Bluenthal (D-Conn.) is teaming with Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to pressure automakers to improve front seat back safety standards.

The crashworthiness of today’s vehicles are at levels not seen before, automakers claim, using a variety of test results to support the assertion. Those claims are most likely true, except for one, little-thought about part of the car: the seat back.

Two of the biggest critics of automakers, Sens Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), are pushing the companies to address a new concern: the weakness of seat backs.

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The two senators have asked 17 automakers to provide a spate of documents about their vehicles and specifically, the seat backs. (more…)

Toyota, FCA Recall About 2 Mil Vehicles for Faulty Airbags

Takata defect not the only problem.

by on May.24, 2016

The 2010 Lexus GX is part of the most recent airbag-related recall for Toyota.

Nearly 2 million more vehicles are being recalled by Toyota and Fiat Chrysler due to a series of airbag problems, the vast majority of them involving defective Takata airbag inflators.

Designed to enhance crash safety, airbags have become a major headache for automakers around the world due to design and manufacturing issues. The Takata problem alone has already become the largest recall in U.S. automotive history, impacting as many as 20 different automakers.

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The largest of the two new recalls involves 1.6 million Toyota vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. The service action affects both the driver and passenger front airbags on vehicles as much as a decade old and sold through the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. (more…)

Ford Recalling 285,000 Vehicles

Automaker issues action for transmission, suspension and airbag problems.

by on Apr.27, 2016

Ford's Police Interceptor Utility is part of a recall of SUVs due to suspension issues.

Ford is recalling more than 280,000 sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks due to suspension and transmission issues.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker will recall 201,900 pickups due to a flaw in the transmission. A faulty speed sensor can cause it to downshift into first gear at the wrong time, potentially causing the driver to lose control or affect the vehicles around it.

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Thus far, the automaker is aware of three accidents that have occurred due to the sensor on transmission model6R80. It is found on 2011-12 Ford F-150, 2012 Expedition and Mustangs built in Michigan from Aug. 19, 2011 through Feb. 12, 2012. (more…)

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