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car safety

Have you ever been stopped behind someone who just annoys you, they’re fuelling that road rage inside you. While you’re screaming at the car in front of you for cutting you off. Maybe they’re just going to slow, or too fast as they race by you on the right hand side.

Who knows maybe you are one of these people. From the list we can see that on one or more occasion we’ve all done something like this. For example we have the The Good Samaritan Driver. The busybody Good Samaritan can’t enter an intersection without making things better for the drivers around them: whether other drivers want their help or not. At four-way-stop intersections, the Good Samaritan will direct traffic to their liking. With oncoming turning traffic, the Good Samaritan will stop, wave them through, ignoring other cars that may be coming up from behind who don’t share their generous ways, usually causing confusion, or worse, an accident. Here’s a big tip to the Good Samaritan Driver: don’t bother, nobody cares!

Click here, to learn about all the different stereotypes of bad drivers.

 

Auto recalls have been rampant this year. It seems like every other day, news breaks about yet another major recall on millions of cars that, if left unaddressed, could prove deadly. Here’s what consumers can do to ensure their safety.

There are two months left in the year, but 2014 has already broken the record for most auto recalls ever. As of October, automakers had issued recalls for an estimated all-time-high of 56 million vehicles in the U.S. “To put that in perspective, automakers have now recalled more than three times the number of new cars and trucks Americans will buy this year,” the Detroit Free Press noted.
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The flurry of recalls has come fast and furiously in 2014. This week, Toyota issued a recall on roughly 250,000 vehicles in the U.S. related to faulty airbags, on top of a global recall of 1.7 million Toyotas for a wide range of safety defects that circulated last week. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) lists 29 separate auto manufacturer recalls thus far in the month of October, and the agency released a special consumer advisory this week, alerting the owners of 7.8 million vehicles that they should take “immediate action” to replace dangerously defective airbags.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. General Motors recalled 2.7 million vehicles last May, less than one month after the automaker announced it had spent $1.3 billion to recall 7 million vehicles worldwide, including 2.6 million for faulty ignition switches linked to 13 deaths. Ford recalled 700,000 vehicles last spring because of concerns the airbags wouldn’t deploy quickly enough, while some 16 million vehicles from 10 automakers have been recalled because the airbags, made by the Japanese company Takata, could inflate with explosive force strong enough to hurt or even kill the riders the devices are designed to save in the case of an accident. And on and on.

The numbers are so big, and the recalls pop up with such frequency, that you might be inclined to tune them out—not unlike the hacks and data breaches that occur with astonishing regularity at major retailers. But then, you know … there’s death and catastrophic injury. The potential of anything so dire affecting you and your loved ones should make you snap to attention and take action.

Read the full story for steps to take to stay safe.

What’s worse than having to dig your car out from under the white stuff? Being caught unprepared driving on slippery streets or worse, not being able to use your car because it is frozen solid.

This year when the snow starts and the temperatures plummet you can be prepared.

Have your winter tires on, the right oil in your engine, your fluids topped up and your gas tank half-full or better. Whether you do it yourself, or take your vehicle to an auto shop for winterizing, you’ll feel more confident as you hit the snow-covered roads.

Get Plugged In

Most new vehicles sold through an Alberta car dealership will have a block heater. However, if you are unsure, any auto repair shop can assist you in locating the block heater or installing one for you.

A block heater does not need to be plugging in all night; ideally it will perform its warming magic two hours prior to you driving it. A timer will allow you to automate this process and save you on energy costs.

See Clearly

Winter wiper blades are more expensive but are designed specifically to handle snow on the windshield. Get the most out of yours by removing snow and ice manually before turning on the wipers. Ensure your windshield washer reservoir has extreme cold winter-grade washer fluid in it. In chinook country like Calgary, it is not a bad idea to keep an extra jug in the garage, but out of reach of children and pets as it’s toxic. For this same reason, don’t fill up with fluid and leave a puddle on the garage floor.

Read on for more tips.

Cars are now able to drive themselves, park themselves, so is it really a  surprise that they can now now talk to each other. In an effort to reduce accidents and alleviate traffic congestion, federal U.S. regulators have announced plans to craft a rule that will require all new vehicles to “talk” to each other using wireless technology. The proposed mandate could be introduced as early as 2017.

The Department of Transportation has spent years researching vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox speculates that its widespread usage could prevent an impressive 70 to 80 percent of accidents involving unimpaired drivers.

For more than a decade, government engineers have worked with leading automakers to create the rules for what is being called “the Internet of cars.”  Unlike the 3G and 4G cellular networks that are currently being installed in cars to provide Internet-based functionality, these new “connected cars” will communicate over a specialized wireless frequency called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC).

Cars that are equipped with these wireless chips would be capable of receiving signals from nearby DSRC-enabled cars, allowing them to determine their precise location, speed and direction.  If an accident is about to occur and the driver doesn’t react, the car could sound a warning or even apply the brakes if necessary.  Cars would also be able to gather information from smartphones and other devices to avoid accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.  “Think of all the everyday situations that this technology could help with; when folks pull up to a four-way stop, driving behind a big truck or an SUV that limits your visibility or even making a lane change and a car moves into your blind spot,” explained Foxx.

Enhancing road safety by utilizing DSRC systems in all new cars is an admirable plan, however, concerns over security and privacy have come to light.  The automakers’ primary lobbying group, The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, has stated that while it clearly recognizes the benefits of DSRC technology, the surrounding issues must be resolved before its implementation.   All new technology has issues, but although self parking cars are cool this DSRC technology will make our roads safer and possibly save lives!

Read the full article here: www.drivingsales.com     

When it comes to detecting objects, rearview cameras outperform parking sensors.

In 2008, the U.S. Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act, which, among other things, required that all new cars sold in the U.S. come equipped with devices to enhance rear visibility. According to the terms of the bill, the Department of Transportation had until 2011 to set standards for those devices and establish an implementation policy.

Mandating the devices was a noble act, designed to prevent hundreds of accidental deaths and injuries — often those of children too small to be seen by drivers in large vehicles like SUVs. Unfortunately, despite the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s repeated insistence that rearview cameras are coming, the rollout keeps being delayed. Last fall, in the wake of reports that the DOT wouldn’t issue a ruling on the matter until 2015, safety advocates sued the agency for dragging its feet.

Part of the DOT’s reluctance to address the issue may be lingering concerns about the effectiveness of rearview cameras versus other technological solutions to backover injuries and deaths. If so, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should put those concerns to rest.

Read the full article here.