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safety

Recalls are frustrating drivers due the inconvenience, as well as the danger they put their families in.

The 2015 American Consumer Satisfaction Index, an annual survey that involved 4,300 consumers, found that satisfaction with automobiles dropped for the third straight year to the lowest level since 2004. High new-car prices also were a factor.

“While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” said Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of the survey.

Honda records 20 per cent rise in profit despite massive recalls Last year automakers recalled a record 64 million vehicles for problems such as exploding air bags and ignition switches that can unexpectedly cause engines to stall. The problems can be deadly. So far General Motors has agreed to compensate families of 124 people who died in crashes caused by the faulty switches. Eight more people have died worldwide after being cut by shrapnel from exploding Takata air bag inflators.

Rising prices also contributed to the consumer frustration. Car prices are up 11 per cent since 2010 and hit records all year, rising to an average $32,932 in July, according to the Edmunds.com auto website.

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Today there are many distractions in the car to distract the driver. These distractions include more than just the ones mentioned by the government such as arguing kids, turning on the radio and roadside diversions. Therefore, the driver can sometimes miss accidents that are about to happen.

 

Active safety systems such as forward collision prevention and lane keeping assist can automatically take over a car’s brakes and steering when sensors detect that an accident is imminent. These so-called “driver assist” systems use cameras and other sensors as well as software to detect and then respond to potentially dangerous situations that drivers may miss.

 

While driver assist systems look at external factors to determine whether to take action, researchers at Cornell and Stanford that go by the name Brain4Cars are working on a prototype that also takes into account internal elements, namely drivers and their body language. The system uses some of the same cameras and sensors employed by driver assist systems along with a new computer algorithm to predict what a driver will do and then issues a warning or takes corrective action.

 

“There are many systems now that monitor what’s going on outside the car,” said Ashutosh Saxena, an assistant professor of computer science at Cornell who spearheaded the project. “Internal monitoring of the driver will be the next leap forward.”

 

Systems such as Driver Attention Monitor found in some Lexus vehicles already keep an eye on drivers by using a small infrared camera mounted on the steering column that detects their head position. If it senses that a driver is looking away from the road for a certain length of time, a warning sounds to draw attention forward. I’ve also tested prototype systems from Continental and Volvo that can track drivers’ head as well as eye movements to determine if they are looking away from the road.

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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.

 

We’ve all been there, that long drive and we start yawning. We all know how dangerous it can be, but according to new studies, driving tired is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. It can be as serious as distracted driving or even drunk driving. Tiredness behind the wheel has caused an estimate of 11.6 percent of all fatal accidents.

With many motorists getting behind the wheel during prime time road trip season this winter , driver fatigue is bound to happen during any long drive. DMEautomotive recently conducted a study which revealed the 15 worst things drivers do to stay awake, confirming that drivers are combating the issue in the wrong ways, opting for ineffective fixes that do little to alleviate drowsiness.

The results of the survey showed drivers are far more likely to drink caffeine, open windows, pull over and exercise/stretch, blast loud music and turn up air conditioning — all of which do little to nothing to lessen the effects of sleep deprivation. The only proven solution is to safely pull over, stop driving, and take a nap for a proper amount of time or switch drivers with someone who isn’t tired. Although drinking a caffeinated beverage can produce a jolt of alertness, the effect wears off quickly, according to experts and contrary to the popular belief, coffee is not a replacement for sleep.

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Almost half of Canadian drivers drive on their all-season tires in the winter. These tires freeze in the cold, slide on slush, and can take 30 metres longer to stop on smooth ice. To help make Canada’s roads safe this year, Kal Tire is urging drivers to avoid all-season (three-season) tires and consider all-weather tires, ‘the winter tire you can drive all year long.’

“We don’t think drivers realize how dangerous all-seasons are in the winter, or that they have a much safer year-round tire option,” says Carey Hull, director of retail products, Kal Tire. All-weather tires, sometimes confused for all-season tires, are designated winter tires that give drivers safe traction in the winter as well as superior handling in the summer. “What we’re saying is, if you’re going to have only one set of tires on your vehicle through the year, make it an all-weather tire.”

Safety Features All-season tires All-weather tires
Rubber compound remains soft and flexible at temperatures above and below 7 C NO

Freezes at 7 C. Takes 30 m longer to stop on smooth ice, even at -1 C

YES

Precise, year-round

braking and grip

Prevents slushplaning and grips snow and ice NO

Snow and slush clogs the thin tread channels creating a slippery, unsafe surface for winter roads

YES

Thick grooves push away slush to prevent slushplaning, the second-most dangerous driving condition. Thick, chunky tread blocks bite ice, snow and slush.

Bears the mountain snowflake designated winter tire symbol to show it’s passed requirements to be safe for severe winter conditions NO YES

 

Kal Tire wants to make sure Canadians get the safety they need through all weather conditions. Because the organization believes so much that the all-weather tire should replace the all-season tire for year-round use in Canada, and because of the tire dealer’s understanding of the Canadian market, they were able to convince several manufacturers to produce more all-weather tires this year. Several new tires are launching this fall, including the Nordman WR, a high-quality, budget-friendly all-weather tire for passenger and SUV vehicles.

“We’ve had the Nokian WR all-weather tire for years, but we needed to give customers a value-priced, high quality option. Now there’s no excuse for using all-seasons in the winter,” says Hull, adding Kal Tire also wanted to accommodate Canada’s growing light truck market, and give more choices to fleets.

Kal Tire also convinced Nokian to redesign the Rotiiva AT into a heavier version with all-weather elements for three-quarter ton trucks. Others to jump to Kal Tire’s request include Nitto, which built an all-terrain all-weather tire for extreme work and off-road environments, and Muteki, which designed a rugged all-weather tire fit for the toughest off-road and mud conditions. The result is Kal Tire’s 2014 lineup of all-weather tires, featuring six models to suit all types of drivers and budgets.

Read the full story here.