Category: Safety

By on December 6, 2016

GM rear seat reminder dashboard

General Motors’ Rear Seat Reminder technology, designed to alert drivers to check the back seat when exiting their vehicles, will be offered on a multitude of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.

Having made its debut in the 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year, the technology aims to prevent heatstroke-related deaths and reduce the number of children left unattended in parking lots. Read More >

By on December 5, 2016

Insane People at the Stock Photo Dealership

Industry watchdogs are becoming increasingly concerned that salespeople are misrepresenting new vehicles’ semi-autonomous features to customers. Considering that most salespeople work on commission, consumers are used to hearing that prices are non-negotiable or that they will get a “great deal” on their trade-in. Dealer fibbing is par for the course.

However, claiming a car’s safety capabilities are more robust than they actually are — either due to greed or ignorance — can cost both parties more than a few extra bucks. Read More >

By on November 15, 2016

Car noise hearing

The U.S. Transportation Department has finalized rules that will require electric vehicles and hybrids to emit “alert sounds” at speeds below 18.6 miles per hour, to warn cyclists, pedestrians, and the blind of the approaching danger.

By adding noise to silent-running vehicles, the NHTSA and DOT hope to reduce the number of people currently being run over by EVs. Is this a big problem, you ask? Apparently it is — the regulator claims EVs are 19 percent more likely to strike human flesh.

Read More >

By on November 4, 2016

autos technology vw public domain

Automakers recalled a record-breaking 51.26 million vehicles last year, with the callbacks stemming from either a highly commendable abundance of caution, or a disgraceful, wide-spread lapse in quality control.

The reality lies somewhere in the middle, but an analysis of over 31 years of recall history has shed some light on which automotive manufacturers have made the best out of a bad situation.

Read More >

By on October 30, 2016

P90081502

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notified the public that BMW will be issuing recalls on 136,188 vehicles in the United States and another 18,284 in Canada due to possibility improperly crimped wires. The wires in question, for the fuel pump and a loose connection, could create enough heat to melt the connector and result in the vehicle leaking gas.

Read More >

By on October 27, 2016

2016 Nissan Tsuru silver

After over two decades of uninterrupted production, Nissan’s Mexican division is finally killing off one of the oldest cars currently on the global market — the Tsuru compact sedan. Virtually unchanged since 1992, Mexico manufactured it for 24 years, selling a grand total of 1,849,289 units in that time.

However the re-badged B13 Sentra’s rich history of reliable transportation and status as Mexico’s favorite taxi won’t save it from the axe. This popular little deathtrap has overstayed its welcome. Here’s why the blade needs to fall.

Read More >

By on October 26, 2016

David Lofink/Flickr Speed Limit 55

When driving, consider how often you look down to check your speed. Even with a good sense of your current velocity, entering a known enforcement zone or seeing a posted limit forces you to stop what we are doing and take quick peeks at the speedometer. It may only be a fraction of a second each time, but that’s still a fraction of a second where you aren’t paying full attention to the road ahead.

You might think that the average motorist is perfectly capable of such basic multitasking without causing additional risk. According to new research, you might be wrong.

Read More >

By on October 25, 2016

Photo by Scoo. (Photo by Scoo.) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hoping to shed some light on the effectiveness of modern crash avoidance technology, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has spent much of this year evaluating the quality of headlights in late model vehicles.

Its research has shown that most midsize cars could use some serious refinement and small SUVs are downright abysmal in terms of road illumination. So, it may not shock you to hear that most pickup trucks did poorly in those same tests.

In fact, there was only a single model that received a good rating, and you probably don’t know anybody who drives one.  Read More >

By on June 27, 2016

GC Shifter

My most devoted readers (Hi, Mom!) know that I’ve used the (Web) pages of Road&Track a few times in the past couple of years to argue for standardizing automotive control location and operation. The general response to my clarion call for action has been a rousing middle finger from the reader, accompanied by an unambiguous suggestion that I use a standardized automatic-transmission shift lever to go fuck myself sideways. What can I say? They were even meaner to John the Baptist, you know.

Last week, some fellow from Hollywood (might have) managed to let his own Grand Cherokee crush him to death. And now, to quote Heath Ledger, everybody loses their minds. There’s a class action lawsuit. The Monostable shifter is being maligned from all quarters, often by the same people who said that the Chrysler rotary PRNDL control was also a problem.

In my previous articles, I predicted that the government, or the courts, would set the automakers’ houses in order if they couldn’t do it themselves. Perhaps that will happen now. I hope not. In the meantime, however, let’s take a brief look at the arguments from control standardization, and the arguments for deviating from those standards sensibly.

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By on April 4, 2016

Speed Limit 29 Sign, Image: James Brooks/Flickr

Dozens of factors combine to determine posted speed limits on highways and local roads. Among those factors are vehicle limitations, weather conditions, non-motorized road users, old ladies writing letters to city council, and — perhaps most fundamentally — design speed.

What is design speed? Read on, my friends.

Read More >

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