The Truth About Cars » Safety Research and Strategies http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:00:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » Safety Research and Strategies http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com NHTSA Vows Crackdown Upon Drowsy Driving http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nhtsa-vows-crackdown-upon-drowsy-driving/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nhtsa-vows-crackdown-upon-drowsy-driving/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024297 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind announced his agency would crackdown on drowsy driving through data and strategy. The Detroit News reports the agency would work closely with state governments to gather data and develop strategies based on what has worked in the few states that have introduced legislation to curb drowsy driving: […]

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Asleep At The Wheel - Jumpin' At The Woodside vinyl record album cover

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind announced his agency would crackdown on drowsy driving through data and strategy.

The Detroit News reports the agency would work closely with state governments to gather data and develop strategies based on what has worked in the few states that have introduced legislation to curb drowsy driving:

We’re going to develop strategies specifically targeting populations especially vulnerable to drowsy driving. And we’re going to comprehensively examine the role that driver aids, in the car and outside of it, can play — everything from high-tech solutions like computer algorithms that detect when you’re getting sleepy behind the wheel, to old standbys like rumble strips on the road.

The NHTSA found that from 2005 to 2009, drowsy driving was the cause of 2.2 percent to 2.6 percent of all fatal accidents, coming out to 1,000 deaths annually. Around 72,000 accidents per year linked to injury and/or property damage were found to be caused by the issue, as well.

Though little measurable data on drowsy driving exists thus far, the agency noted that crashes occur often on high-speed roadways between mid-afternoon and early morning involving solo drivers who didn’t avoid crashing, with employees working at night or odd hours, those between 16 and 29 years of age, and those with sleep disorders being most at risk.

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Toyota: The Battle Of The Papers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/toyota-the-battle-of-the-papers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/toyota-the-battle-of-the-papers/#comments Sun, 14 Feb 2010 12:17:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=345288 The Toyota case is heading towards hearings in DC and to courts all over the country. Both sides are putting heavy artillery in position. Both sides of the SUA wars commission heavy caliber studies – both with inconclusive results. Toyota funded a study into the electronics in its vehicles. Before that, a group of lawyers […]

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The Toyota case is heading towards hearings in DC and to courts all over the country. Both sides are putting heavy artillery in position. Both sides of the SUA wars commission heavy caliber studies – both with inconclusive results. Toyota funded a study into the electronics in its vehicles. Before that, a group of lawyers had “sponsored” Safety Research and Strategies, a company that makes money by investigating auto-safety for those suing auto makers. Ford, which had been at the receiving end of an SRS fusillade during the Explorer crisis, called the company “supposed safety advocates who are actually just shills for trial attorneys.”

Here are the latest dispatches from the front lines:

SRS produced a Big Bertha of a 180 page research report, that can be downloaded here (if your Internet connection is up to it – I’m on one of Tokyo’s finest 50 Mbit connections, and I’m still waiting… ah, download completed.) The conclusion of the monster is that “sticking accelerator pedals do not appear to cause the SUA events,” and that basically nobody knows what the reason may be. SRS is pointing fingers at the drive-by-wire system, which they call – duh – “significantly different and more complex than the older, mechanical systems.”

The computer gremlin theory “taps into our almost instinctual fear that our machines will suddenly turn on us,” writes Popular Mechanics. “To judge by press accounts and statements from government officials, those innocuous-looking Toyota sedans and SUVs in millions of American driveways are somehow kin to the homicidal ’58 Plymouth Fury in the Stephen King novel “Christine”—haunted by technological poltergeists and prone to fits of mechanical mayhem.” Primordial fear at its finest.

Washington quickly took advantage of the automotive angst. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform lobbed a heavy caliber staff memo that says: “Attention is now being focused on the electronic throttle control system (ETC) to determine whether sudden acceleration may be attributable to a software design problem or perhaps to electromagnetic interference.”

To provide counter-battery fire, Toyota hired the engineering research firm Exponent of Menlo Park, CA, to dig into its computers. Exponent found ”no evidence of problems in the electronics in Toyota and Lexus products,” says their study, that somehow found its way (guess how) to the Wall Street Journal.

Exponent bought six Toyota and Lexus vehicles, all equipped with the electronic throttle-control system. Then they threw all kinds of tests and stresses at the cars. When failures were induced in these sensors, Exponent says the electronic control module detected the problem and took appropriate action.

“Imposing these perturbations resulted in a significant drop in power rather than an increase,” Exponent says in the study. “In all cases, when a fault was imposed, the vehicle entered a fail-safe mode.”

So basically, instead of accelerating like a banshee, the cars on which Exponent performed a vivisection went in to limp mode, just good enough to crawl back to the next Toyota dealer.

Exponent is not finished with their investigation. “Testing and analysis by Exponent will continue for several months,” says the WSJ. So will the trench warfare. Armies of lawyers will record record amounts of billable hours, while the arms merchants of this war will deforest the earth to produce huge amounts of paper.

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