Category: Safety

By on August 31, 2015

Google Autonomous Vehicle Prototype Circa December 2014

Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot).

Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists.

“A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of fertilizer to the place he intends to detonate it. A burner email account, a prepaid debit card purchased with cash, and an account, tied to that burner email, with an AV car service will get him a long way to being able to place explosives near crowds, without ever being there himself.”

Criminals in Denver have already used burners, pre-paid cards and fake names to rent Car2go cars for drive-by shootings.

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By on August 25, 2015

2015 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Overland

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that gear selector handles on Jeep Grand Cherokees may slip out of park and cause the car to roll away, Automotive News is reporting.

Owners have detailed several complaints to NHTSA who said their Grand Cherokees rolled away while parked, including one person in Michigan who said a child was injured exiting the rollaway vehicle.

A similar transmission selector was used in the 2014 Chrysler 300. An owner complained of a similar problem in that car, where it rolled away and crashed into two other vehicles.

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By on August 25, 2015

Ed Carpenter apexes Turn 3 during the 2015 ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway

Former and current drivers have called on IndyCar officials to review safety equipment in place after racer Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries suffered Sunday at Pocono Raceway, Reuters is reporting.

Wilson was struck in the head by debris from a car that crashed ahead of him, driven by Sage Karam. The incident was similar to accidents in other race series with open cockpits; Felipe Massa was hit by debris in Hungary in 2009 and required surgery, James Hinchcliffe was struck in the head in 2014, which caused a concussion. Wilson’s death was the first for IndyCar since Dan Wheldon was killed in 2011.

“Safety is not one of those things that because you have a clear record for a certain amount of time that you stop doing development,” former race driver Eddie Cheever told ESPN.

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By on August 24, 2015

Justinparade2015

Justin Wilson died Monday from injuries sustained Sunday, when a piece of another crashed race car struck him. He was 37.

His family released a short statement thanking well-wishers and fans for their support after the crash. Wilson was a native of Sheffield, England and lived in Longmont, Colorado with his wife and two daughters.

“Justin was a loving father and devoted husband, as well as a highly competitive racing driver who was respected by his peers.”

Wilson was an advocate for track safety, not only for the racers but also for the spectators.

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By on August 24, 2015

2016 Nissan Maxima (18 of 23)

Nissan’s new Maxima, which went on sale earlier this year, has already had a bumpy road.

Last week, the automaker announced it would be recalling around 6,000 cars for an improperly installed fuel tank 0-ring that could leak and ignite after a crash, according to AutoGuide. Nissan hasn’t identified a fix for the problem yet.

That may be in addition to (or the reason for) a stop-sale on the Maxima in July for an unspecified “quality assurance” problem with the cars. We reached out to Nissan for a comment and have yet to hear back.  Read More >

By on August 23, 2015

Panoramic_View_from_Tianjin_TV_Tower_East(small)(2008-08)

Toyota will keep a plant in China closed until at least Aug. 26 as it waits for conditions to improve after an explosion there killed more than 120 people, the Detroit News is reporting.

The Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin, China injured 67 Toyota employees nearby and damaged 4,700 Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The plant in Tianjin, which produces Crown, Reiz, Corolla and Vios cars, is responsible for roughly half of Toyota’s annual production in China.

“We will only restart operations when we have been able to confirm the safety of our facilities and their surroundings, and when our employees feel that they can once again go to work in a safe environment,” the company said in an email, according to Reuters.

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By on August 20, 2015

IndyTrack 054

News on Thursday that two teens were injured at Lime Rock Park near Salisbury, Connecticut brought forward questions about track safety and security.

Namely, how could tracks be safer and more secure when they’re not operational? And could insurance companies, who already charge a considerable amount of money, eventually sink small town tracks that can’t afford to lockdown tracks completely?

Many tracks are rural parts of the country, and run with skeleton crews — even during race events. That’s because tracks are like golf courses and graveyards, most of their open ground isn’t consistently used and therefore, not always insanely profitable.

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By on August 19, 2015

Deadly Crash Picture courtesy sandiegopersonalinjurylawyersblog.com

The number of fatal traffic crashes has risen 14 percent over last year, and deaths on the road could top 40,000 — the first time since 2007 — the National Safety Council is reporting (via Autoblog).

The council points to lower gas prices and a better economy as reasons why people are driving more and crashing more.

The estimated economic impact of the crashes through the first six months of 2015 was $125 billion according to the council, up 24 percent from last year.

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By on August 18, 2015

cuz

Do not click the link in the next paragraph if you are at work.

It’s one of the most popular posts in TTAC history, and it’s absolutely emblematic of the Bertel Era here at this site. It’s completely not safe for work and before you click it, I want you to think about whether you are at work, and if you are at work, do not click this link with horrifying non-work-safe pictures that you should not view at work.

The link above? Don’t view it at work. It’s disgusting.

The article is called A Day in the Life of a Trauma Surgeon: Get Your Foot Off of My Dash and it contains graphic photographs of what can happen to your feet if they are on a car dashboard when the airbags go off. At the time, I considered the article, and the included photographs, to represent the absolute nadir of this website’s management and content selection.

But there is at least one person out there who probably wishes she’d been forced to read it, graphic images and all. Unfortunately for her, it was published three years too late.

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By on August 11, 2015

OBD II

Hackers say they may be able to control any vehicle with a telematics-enabled sensor — including a popular sensor that insurance companies use for consumers — plugged into the car’s diagnostic port, according to Wired report (via The Verge).

In recent weeks, several hacks have surfaced — Chrysler, General Motors and Telsa — related to specific automakers. According to the report, the On-Board Diagnostic system hack could apply to any make or model fitted with an insurance or tracking dongle. The University of California San Diego researchers say they’ll present their findings at the Usenix conference Tuesday.

And, um, there’s no easy way to put this, but … it doesn’t appear that it would be all that hard to find cars with the dongles at the moment.

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